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200100

Project description:

Project no:
200100
Title:
Development of Soft-Sensors for production processes in a bio-based economy: biotechnological conversion of lignocellulose-derived carbon sources
1st project leader:
Henkel, Marius - University of Hohenheim· Institute of Food Science and Biotechnology · Department of Bioprocess Engineering
2nd project leader
Hausmann, Rudolf - University of Hohenheim· Institute of Food Science and Biotechnology · Department of Bioprocess Engineering
Description:
The establishment of sustainable bioprocesses based on lignocellulosic biomass within the framework of a global bioeconomy depends strongly on their efficiency in competition with conventional processes. One main approach to increase productivity is the transition of conventional biotechnological processes to (semi-)continuous high-productivity systems. For high-efficient biotechnological conversion of lignocellulose hydrolyzates, which typically consist of different sugars and other potentially inhibitory components, knowledge on the process needs to be available in real-time. Many of the required data such as productivities, inhibitory potential or carbon/nitrogen balancing however are either difficult to measure or only offline measurements are possible. For this purpose, Soft-Sensors may serve as a tool to overcome these challenges. The term Soft-Sensor depicts a virtual sensor where several measurements are processed together. The interaction of the processed measurements may then be used for calculating the required values. The aim of this project is the development of Soft-Sensors and tools for model-based process development and process optimization for high-productivity biotechnological (semi-)continuous processes using lignocellulose hydrolyzates.

The Department of Bioprocess Engineering owns a state-of-the-art custom Siemens Simatic-S7-based bioreactor system, which has been specifically designed for research applications. This bioreactor system provides an ideal platform for bioconversion of renewable substrates with model-based process control and development.
Located at the beautiful campus of Hohenheim, there is direct access to lignocellulose-converting research groups, state-of-the-art analytical devices and services and many other research partners in the field of bioeconomy.
References:
Hausmann, Henkel et al 2016, Current Developments in Biotechnology and Bioengineering: Bioprocesses, Bioreactors and Controls. DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-444-63663-8.00025-2

Horlamus, Wang et al 2019, Potential of biotechnological conversion of lignocellulose hydrolyzates by Pseudomonas putida KT2440 as model organism for a bio‐based economy. DOI: 10.1111/gcbb.12647
Methods that will be used:
- Bioprocess engineering, e.g. setup of fed-batch/continuous bioprocesses using a Siemens state-of-the-art Simatic-S7 bioreactor system
- Bioprocess modelling and Soft-Sensor development via suitable tools, e.g. MATLAB
- Cultivation of engineered bacterial strains for the degradation of lignocellulose-derived sugars
- Routine analytics, HPTLC/enzyme assay for residual sugar/organic acid/byproduct/reference product determination
- Communication and (on-line) control of the bioprocess, e.g. via OPC interface and/or soft-sensors by controlled addition of feed/product/bleed liquid streams
Collaboration partners:
Dr. Frank Rosenau, Ulm Center for Peptide Pharmaceuticals (U-PEP), Ulm University, Germany

Prof. Dr. Bernd Hitzmann, Department of Process Analytics and Cereal Science (150i), University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany
Expected candidate‘s qualification:
Language skills: candidate is expected to be proficient in spoken and written English (skills equal B2 level or higher according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, CEF)

Required professional qualifications: degree in bioprocess engineering, biotechnology, biosystems-engineering, (control) engineering with biotechnology-related elective subjects, or equivalent degree. Candidate should show interest in bioprocess optimization and bioprocess modelling within the framework of a bio-based economy

Optional additional qualifications: experience in programming, MATLAB or Labview software
Keywords:
Bioreactor, Bioprocess engineering, Soft-Sensor, biotechnology, model-based process development, simulation & control, bioprocess optimization