Organic Acids

BPI has expertise in the fermentative production of a number of organic acids; lactic, acetic, gluconic, citric, succinic, propionic, & butyric acids, from biomass derived sugars through the development of improved processes, bio-reactor systems, and organisms for the processing and recovery of various of organic acids, bio-solvents, and chemical precursors.

Background: Organic acids are valuable commodity chemicals or may be further processed into higher value chemicals, solvents, fuels, & bio-products.  Bio-based acids are produced through the fermentation of biomass sugars by a number of different  microorganisms under different conditions, metabolic pathways, and efficiencies.

Technology Description: Bio-Process has experience in working with a variety of organisms in the production of organic acids and solvents through the fermentation of lactose, xylose, arabinose, & glucose.  BPI has developed and improved bacterial microorganism strains, fermentation systems, bio-reactor designs, product recovery & separation systems for the production of organic acids and bio-solvents in non-sterile industrial environments.  Process improvements have focused on:  increased conversion rates & efficiencies, higher product concentrations, more efficient product recovery, and increasing reactor infection resistance.

Applications:   The production of different organic acids (acetic acid, lactic acid, glucconic acid, succinic acid, etc.) through fermentation of biomass sugars can be a primary or secondary co-product in a bio-refining system.  Organic acids can be produced and sold as commodity chemicals or further processed into higher value chemicals, biofuels, or bio-products.

Advantages:

  • Conversion of 5-Carbon Sugars: Xylose / Arabinose,
  • Higher Metabolic Conversion Efficiency & Rates,
  • Increased Product Diversity, Revenues, & Profitability,
  • Higher Biomass to Product Yield & Product Yield Rates,
  • Increased Product Concentrations in Fermentation,
  • Decreased Energy Usage in Separations & Product Recovery,
  • Decreased Fermentation Infection & Upsets,

R&D Background: Bio-Process has been working on the development and improvement of organic acid fermentation processes over the last 15 years: improving micro-organism strains, increasing product concentration levels, & developing improved bio-reactor designs for non-sterile industrial applications.

Technology Maturity: Pilot – Commercial, The maturity of process technology development is at different levels for the different organic acid / solvents produced.  Most recently, BPI worked on the development, improvement, & piloting of both lactic & acetic acid processing technologies for industrial applications. The implementation of BPI technologies increased acid product concentrations by a factor of 5X and conversion efficiencies and yields were increased by 30% in non-sterile environments.

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