Development of a pilot plant facility for the conversion of renewables in biotechnological processes

J. Venus, K. Richter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The experience of recent years has shown that a swift transfer of new biotechnological processes into practice often fails due to the lack of a reference facility that can be used for multiple applications. Besides the basic research there is a need for investigations at different scales from the laboratory to the industrial scale. The construction of a pilot plant facility for the production of lactic acid at the Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering Potsdam-Bornim (ATB) consequently fills a gap in the various phases of bioprocess engineering from applied fundamental via application research to the launch of biotechnological processes in practice. An example of a biorefinery is presented, which produces 10 t lactic acid in 200 days per year. The steps of project development from the idea and concept up to the planning and installation of the plant are described. First results for the manufacture of lactic acid from rye wholemeal illustrate the conformity with existing investigations. Further research may lead to an increase in the long-term stability of the fermentation and to an adaptation of the process to the demands of product quality. The availability of product samples should familiarize interested partners in industry with the specific product requirements and win them as cooperation partners for research projects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-402
Number of pages8
JournalEngineering in Life Sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Biorefineries
  • Pilot plants
  • Renewables


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