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EMULSION BUSTER - Emulsion separation with scCO2

09.04.2010
A process has been developed at the Technical University of Dortmund that for the first time enables biocatalytic

reaction mixtures composed by two-phase whole cell biotransformations to be processed efficiently. The phase separation of emulsion, which has previously been seen as problematic, has been greatly simplified to permit further processing of the reaction mixture. In addition, phase separation and product recovery in the case of non-polar products can be conducted in one step, which minimizes the equipment cost in processing. Commercial Opportunity

The new processing method enables the stable emulsion to be separated by treatment with supercritical carbon dioxide and is suitable for application on an industrial scale. In contrast to conventional processes such as e.g. centrifuging or membrane filtration, a complete phase separation can be achieved. After separation of the phases, these can either be further processed using conventional processes or the products can be recovered directly by a subsequent supercritical extraction operation. The invention is distinguished in particular by its simplicity and universal applicability. Any desired biocatalytic two-phase processes can be worked with this.

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