Fermentation technology

Fermentation technology can be used to convert biomass into products with a higher added value. Wageningen Food & Biobased Research’s extensive expertise and facilities in this field is deployed to support companies in the development of biobased products.

Biomass sources and micro-organisms

In fermentation, we realise microbial conversions in a bioreactor under controlled conditions. Various biomass sources can be used in the fermentation process such as straw, potato peels, roots and aquatic biomass. Micro-organisms produce a variety of biomolecules, such as metabolites, biopolymers and proteins. We use these biomolecules in the fermentation process to develop microbial products such as PHAs, ethanol, butanol, fatty acids and hydrogen. Leveraging on our expertise in the field of strain improvement and gene technology we can further expand the wide variety of biomolecules which can be used in the fermentation process. In addition, reactor and cultivation conditions can be improved in the Wageningen Food & Biobased Research laboratories.

Realising innovative compounds

Fermentation can be used in the production of new and existing compounds and products for the (partial) replacement of chemical processes. By optimising fermentation processes we can increase yields or realise energy savings, accelerate processes and simplify the purification of products.

Fermentation facilities

Wageningen Food & Biobased Research fermentation facilities can produce materials such as (building blocks for) biopolymers, biofuels and other components at the pilot scale for application research. Our research provides insight into the practical, technical and economic feasibility of the eventual production process. Results on the laboratory and pilot scale are translated into results on the industrial scale.

In our fermentation laboratory we use bioreactors with volumes of 0.15 to 20 litres. There are also 150 and 1,500-litre bioreactors available for tests. Our fermentation facilities are certified for working with a variety of organisms, including genetically modified organisms. We also provide equipment and expertise for product separation and purification, including various types of filtration systems, centrifuges and lyophilisators

Combination of various types of expertise

In cooperation with clients from industry and government, Wageningen Food & Biobased Research develops biotechnological processes for biobased products, whereby we combine our expertise in the field of fermentation technology with other types of expertise and technologies, such as strain improvement, upstream & downstream processing and process optimisation.