Aberystwyth University

   

Pilot Plant Facility at IBERS Gogerddan, Aberystwyth University

The BEACON biorefining facility built on the Gogerddan campus at Aberystwyth University (AU) features flexible plug and play, multi-feedstock pilot processing plant. The unit houses a range of key equipment, facilities and associated expertise to enable academic and industrial partners to develop and demonstrate scale-up processes, taking laboratory research to economically viable industrial applications.

The facility includes a primary processing area and a secondary processing pilot laboratory situated within the IBERS AU Gogerddan campus within a short walk of the new IBERS Phenomics centre and main laboratory and feedstock breeding research facilities.

Aims

  • Provide a fl exible environment where plant biomass can be taken from mechanical and thermochemical processing through bioconversion to products such as transport fuels, platform chemicals and fi ne chemicals.
  • Bridge the gap between laboratory and demonstration research and deliver an impact to the commercial sector with collaborative research and development.
  • Develop processes, technologies and products from plant biomass that provide alternatives to products made from oil, delivering a positive impact on climate change.
  • Develop a growing network of industrial collaborators and encourage academia to business and business to business research and technical development.
  • Generate and exploit intellectual property in collaboration with our partners.
  • Provide life cycle assessment support to better understand the most economic routes to new and existing products

Expertise / Strengths

  • Basic and strategic research in plant biology.
  • Microbiology and biotechnology.
  • Chemical analysis of biomass.
  • Primary processing of biomass such as ryegrass, miscanthus, clover and oats.
  • Bio-conversion of ryegrass into transport fuels and platform chemicals.
  • Conversion of biomass into biochar.
  • Economic modelling and process evaluation.

Facilities

Primary Processing unit

The Primary Processing unit has 252m2 of floor space comprising an integrated 1 tonne/hour wet feedstock processing line together with a 400kg/hour pellet press production line for dry feedstock densification.

The integrated wet feedstock processing line consists of:

  • 15kW hammer mill
  • 10 inch interrupted flight screw press (7.5kW) capable of pressing 1 tonne fresh material per hour
  • A single phase, skid mounted 4 inch Vincent interrupted flight screw press for small scale trials of 50-200kg of material.
  • The press liquor is collected into two 750 litre (dairy) cooled holding tanks.

The pellet press line consists of:

  • Tote hopper into a vibratory feed to a 30kW hammer mill (3mm mesh)
  • 42kW pellet mill with a production capacity of up to 400kg/ hour for woody biomass
  • 3, 5 and 6 mm animal feed and biomass dies.
  • A wheeled (freestanding) vibratory feed hopper can be used to deliver premixed material directly to the front of the pellet mill for experimental batch production runs of 10 to 50kgs.

Secondary processing pilot laboratory

The pilot laboratory is an insulated mezzanine structure covering 168m2. The pilot laboratory comprises a variety of stand-alone and plug-and-play integrated equipment including:

Pre-treatment equipment:

  • A steam explosion rig for lignocellulosic pre-treatment. It is fitted with a 25kW integral steam boiler, capable of high temperature and pressure pre-treatment (>10 bar/180C) of lignocellulosic feedstocks.
  • Skid mounted dual duty pasteurizer capable of rapidly heating liquid feedstock from 4°C to 90°C running at a rate of either 50 or 500 litres/ hour

Bioconversion / Fermentation:

  • Three Applikon steam-in-place bacterial fermenters, two skid mounted 70 litre units and one bench mounted 30 litre unit.

Separation systems:

  • Two CEPA Z41 floor standing continuous (batch) solid/liquid clarifying centrifuges suitable for harvesting fermentation biomass.
  • Horizontal decanter centrifuge capable of >1000 litres/hour for continuous centrifugation of liquid feedstocks where the solids content is >3% w/v.
  • Mobile skid mounted ultra/ micro cross-flow filtration pilot plant.
  • Mobile skid mounted nano filtration/ reverse osmosis system.

The system is rated to 40 bar and fitted with in-line digital temperature, pressure and flow sensors Bench-top cross flow filtration system.

Preparative and analytical capabilities:

  • Hiden Analytical HPR20 QIC R&D mass spectrometer for specialist gas analysis research.
  • Varian 3400 FID GC with autosampler.
  • Dionex/Shodex HPLC system with refractive index detector for carbohydrate analysis.
  • Large-scale six channel preparative flash chromatography system.
  • One large (20 litre) and several small-scale rotary evaporators.
  • Additional laboratory equipment including: floor standing and bench-top shaking incubators, Hot Box oven, autoclave, bench top centrifuges, balances, freeze drying facilities.

Applications

A variety of opportunities are available to develop commercial activities. These include:

  • Analysis of plant biomass for e.g. bioactive compounds or other molecules of interest
  • Processing and isolation of bioactives and natural products from plant biomass
  • Conversion of woody plant biomass into pellets
  • Production of transport fuels from plant biomass
  • Production and isolation of fine chemicals from plant biomass
  • Production of biochar, activated charcoal and bio-oil from biomass
  • Production of precursors for bio-packaging
  • Life cycle assessment, economic analysis and system optimization associated with biorefining and the production of bio-products.

Aberystwyth Capabilities

Preparative and analytical capabilities

Pre-treatment equipment

Secondary separation systems

The integrated wet biomass processing line

Dual Duty Pasteuriser

Biotage Flash 75 Radial Compression

Nano Filtration/Reverse Osmosis Pilot Plant

Secondary separation systems

Sharples P600 Decanter Centrifuge

Steam in Place Fermenters

Static Forage Chopper

Ultra/Micro Filtration Pilot Plant

Life Cycle Assessment, Economic Analysis and System Optimisation

Resources

  • Aberystwyth University

    • Slider image
    • Slider image
    • Slider image
    • Slider image
    • Slider image
    • Slider image
    • Slider image
    • Slider image
    • Slider image
    • Slider image
    • Slider image
    • Slider image
    • Slider image
    • Slider image

       

    Pilot Plant Facility at IBERS Gogerddan, Aberystwyth University

    The BEACON biorefining facility built on the Gogerddan campus at Aberystwyth University (AU) features flexible plug and play, multi-feedstock pilot processing plant. The unit houses a range of key equipment, facilities and associated expertise to enable academic and industrial partners to develop and demonstrate scale-up processes, taking laboratory research to economically viable industrial applications.

    The facility includes a primary processing area and a secondary processing pilot laboratory situated within the IBERS AU Gogerddan campus within a short walk of the new IBERS Phenomics centre and main laboratory and feedstock breeding research facilities.

    Aims

    • Provide a fl exible environment where plant biomass can be taken from mechanical and thermochemical processing through bioconversion to products such as transport fuels, platform chemicals and fi ne chemicals.
    • Bridge the gap between laboratory and demonstration research and deliver an impact to the commercial sector with collaborative research and development.
    • Develop processes, technologies and products from plant biomass that provide alternatives to products made from oil, delivering a positive impact on climate change.
    • Develop a growing network of industrial collaborators and encourage academia to business and business to business research and technical development.
    • Generate and exploit intellectual property in collaboration with our partners.
    • Provide life cycle assessment support to better understand the most economic routes to new and existing products

    Expertise / Strengths

    • Basic and strategic research in plant biology.
    • Microbiology and biotechnology.
    • Chemical analysis of biomass.
    • Primary processing of biomass such as ryegrass, miscanthus, clover and oats.
    • Bio-conversion of ryegrass into transport fuels and platform chemicals.
    • Conversion of biomass into biochar.
    • Economic modelling and process evaluation.

    Facilities

    Primary Processing unit

    The Primary Processing unit has 252m2 of floor space comprising an integrated 1 tonne/hour wet feedstock processing line together with a 400kg/hour pellet press production line for dry feedstock densification.

    The integrated wet feedstock processing line consists of:

    • 15kW hammer mill
    • 10 inch interrupted flight screw press (7.5kW) capable of pressing 1 tonne fresh material per hour
    • A single phase, skid mounted 4 inch Vincent interrupted flight screw press for small scale trials of 50-200kg of material.
    • The press liquor is collected into two 750 litre (dairy) cooled holding tanks.

    The pellet press line consists of:

    • Tote hopper into a vibratory feed to a 30kW hammer mill (3mm mesh)
    • 42kW pellet mill with a production capacity of up to 400kg/ hour for woody biomass
    • 3, 5 and 6 mm animal feed and biomass dies.
    • A wheeled (freestanding) vibratory feed hopper can be used to deliver premixed material directly to the front of the pellet mill for experimental batch production runs of 10 to 50kgs.

    Secondary processing pilot laboratory

    The pilot laboratory is an insulated mezzanine structure covering 168m2. The pilot laboratory comprises a variety of stand-alone and plug-and-play integrated equipment including:

    Pre-treatment equipment:

    • A steam explosion rig for lignocellulosic pre-treatment. It is fitted with a 25kW integral steam boiler, capable of high temperature and pressure pre-treatment (>10 bar/180C) of lignocellulosic feedstocks.
    • Skid mounted dual duty pasteurizer capable of rapidly heating liquid feedstock from 4°C to 90°C running at a rate of either 50 or 500 litres/ hour

    Bioconversion / Fermentation:

    • Three Applikon steam-in-place bacterial fermenters, two skid mounted 70 litre units and one bench mounted 30 litre unit.

    Separation systems:

    • Two CEPA Z41 floor standing continuous (batch) solid/liquid clarifying centrifuges suitable for harvesting fermentation biomass.
    • Horizontal decanter centrifuge capable of >1000 litres/hour for continuous centrifugation of liquid feedstocks where the solids content is >3% w/v.
    • Mobile skid mounted ultra/ micro cross-flow filtration pilot plant.
    • Mobile skid mounted nano filtration/ reverse osmosis system.

    The system is rated to 40 bar and fitted with in-line digital temperature, pressure and flow sensors Bench-top cross flow filtration system.

    Preparative and analytical capabilities:

    • Hiden Analytical HPR20 QIC R&D mass spectrometer for specialist gas analysis research.
    • Varian 3400 FID GC with autosampler.
    • Dionex/Shodex HPLC system with refractive index detector for carbohydrate analysis.
    • Large-scale six channel preparative flash chromatography system.
    • One large (20 litre) and several small-scale rotary evaporators.
    • Additional laboratory equipment including: floor standing and bench-top shaking incubators, Hot Box oven, autoclave, bench top centrifuges, balances, freeze drying facilities.

    Applications

    A variety of opportunities are available to develop commercial activities. These include:

    • Analysis of plant biomass for e.g. bioactive compounds or other molecules of interest
    • Processing and isolation of bioactives and natural products from plant biomass
    • Conversion of woody plant biomass into pellets
    • Production of transport fuels from plant biomass
    • Production and isolation of fine chemicals from plant biomass
    • Production of biochar, activated charcoal and bio-oil from biomass
    • Production of precursors for bio-packaging
    • Life cycle assessment, economic analysis and system optimization associated with biorefining and the production of bio-products.

    Aberystwyth Capabilities

    Preparative and analytical capabilities

    Pre-treatment equipment

    Secondary separation systems

    The integrated wet biomass processing line

    Dual Duty Pasteuriser

    Biotage Flash 75 Radial Compression

    Nano Filtration/Reverse Osmosis Pilot Plant

    Secondary separation systems

    Sharples P600 Decanter Centrifuge

    Steam in Place Fermenters

    Static Forage Chopper

    Ultra/Micro Filtration Pilot Plant

    Life Cycle Assessment, Economic Analysis and System Optimisation

    Resources

    Capability flow diagram

  • Bangor University

    • Slider image
    • Slider image
    • Slider image
    • Slider image
    • Slider image
    • Slider image
    • Slider image
    • Slider image
    • Slider image
    • Slider image
    • Slider image
    • Slider image

    Pilot Plant and Facilities at Bangor University

    The BEACON capability based at Bangor University is separated over two sites: the main university campus and the Bio Products and Biorefining Technology Transfer Centre based at Mona on Anglesey.

    These facilities house a range of key equipment and associated expertise to enable academic and industrial partners to develop  and demonstrate scale-up processes, taking laboratory research to economically viable industrial applications.

    This includes a pressurised refining and pilot scale facility coupled with supercritical fluid and chemical/ analytical support.

    AIMS

    • Provide a flexible environment where plant biomass can be taken from mechanical and thermochemical processing through bioconversion to products such as transport fuels, platform chemicals and fine chemicals.
    • Bridge the gap between laboratory and demonstration research and deliver an impact to the commercial sector with collaborative research and development.
    • Develop processes, technologies and products from plant biomass that provide alternatives to products made from oil, delivering a positive impact on climate change.
    • Develop a growing network of industrial collaborators and encourage academia to business and business to business research and technical development.
    • Generate and exploit intellectual property in collaboration with our partners.
    • Provide life cycle assessment support to better understand the most economic routes to new and existing products.

    EXPERTISE/STRENGTHS

    • Production of biocomposites
    • Fibre based packaging
    • Bio based plastics and packaging
    • Isolation of bioactives and bio products such a plant waxes
    • Isolation of bio based additives for e.g. the cosmetic industry
    • Analytical chemistry
    • Organic synthesis

    FACILITIES

    Mona - Anglesey

    The Bio products and Biorefining Technology Transfer Centre has been based at the Mona site since 2007.  The site has a number of key offerings.

    Pressurised refiner consisting of

    • Modular Screw Device
    • Refiner disc (refining zone) with variable residence time 4- 30 min and 2- 20 bar
    • Blowline resination
    • 120 metre Flash drier
    • Fibre collection and mattress forming station
    • Prepress
    • Main hot press

    Pilot scale apparatus:

    • 50 litre chemistry processing unit
    • 20 litre rotary evaporator
    • Pilot-scale chromatographic purification
    • Twin screw extruder for wood fibre and polymer composites
    • Film forming line

    Main site Bangor

    Supercritical CO2 extraction:

    • Small scale extractions i.e. 10 ml, 1000 ml and 1000 ml with an operating temperature up to 120°C and 50-600 bar
    • Pilot scale extractions of 2 x 15 litres.  Temperature range from 5- 80°C  and maximum pressure of 700 bar

    Chemical and analytical:

    • 400MHz and 500MHz NMR spectroscopic facilities
    • Quadrupole mass spectrometers with GC and electrospray capability
    • FTIR spectrophotometers
    • GC and HPLC
    • X-ray diffraction and surface analysis
    • ICP-AES and graphite furnace flame Atomic Absorption spectroscopy
    • Organic synthesis

    APPLICATIONS

    A variety of opportunities are available to develop commercial opportunities. These include:

    • Pressurised refining of biomass to produce fibre for a range of applications e.g. garden decking composed of  fibre/ plastic composites
    • Production of packaging products from plant fibre
    • Formulation ,blending  and evaluation of bio based plastics
    • Chemical analysis of e.g. refined products
    • Isolation of plant chemicals  for use in the cosmetic and healthcare industries
    • Organic synthesis of  a range of plant chemicals  e.g. guanidines
    • Chemical alteration of e.g. alkaloids and fatty acids

    Resources

  • Swansea University

    • Slider image
    • slider image
    • slider image
    • slider image
    • slider image
    • slider
    • Slider image
    • slider image
    • slider image
    • slider image
    • slider image
    • slider

    Facilities and capabilities at Swansea University.

    The BEACON capability at Swansea University is centred on the microbiology facilities in the Institute of Life Science (ILS), the research arm of the College of Medicine at Swansea University.

    Completed in 2007, with support from Welsh Government and the European Union, the ILS laboratories house state of the art facilities and equipment. The highly trained personnel have a history of industrial biotechnology experience going back 30 years, with a wealth of experience working with a range of industries including leading international pharmaceutical, agrochemical, chemical and food industries as well as local SMEs.

    Aims

    • Use microbial genetics, molecular biology and chemical biology to provide microbiological routes to products from plant biomass that do not compete with food availability.
    • To evaluate performance of microorganisms producing a variety of green products and alternatives to oil based processes.
    • To promote consideration of integrative biorefinery processes with high-value co-products including for health.
    • To provide linkage of academics and businesses in BEACON and to other Welsh Government and European Union supported projects to facilitate translation of research.

    Expertise / Strengths

    • Microbial genetics of yeasts, filamentous fungi and actinomycetes.
    • Heterologous protein production from a range of microbial hosts.
    • Enzymology and fermentation.
    • Molecular modelling and protein structure / activity.
    • Biological and analytical chemistry.
    • Functional genomics. 
    • International microbiology networks including funding from EU Framework and National Institutes of Health (USA).

    Microbiology Facilities for BEACON at the ILS

    Applications

    • Opportunities exist to develop co-operative research and development and company advice on processes involving microbes and proteins.
    • Microbial natural product discovery and novel chemical entities for medicine.
    • Metabolic engineering in microbes.
    • Monooxygenase  biotransformations of lipophilic chemicals in biorefinery.

    Resources