Published: CABEQ 18 (1) (2004) 37–46
Paper type: Original Scientific Paper

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Manufacturing of Stabilised Brown Juice for L-lysine production – from University Lab Scale over Pilot Scale to Industrial Production

M. H. Thomsen, D. Bech and P. Kiel

For the last 10 years biotechnological utilization of waste and residues from agriculture and agro-industry has been the common goal for Dansk Biomasse A/S, AgroFerm A/S and Center for Agro-Industrial Biotechnology, University of Southern Denmark. The concept of the green biorefinery has been described in articles, posters and patent applications and a lot of experimental work in laboratory, pilot and full industrial scale has been carried out in order to implement the ideas for industrial purposes. Experimental results from laboratory and pilot scale on utilizing brown juice from the green crop drying industry as raw materials in a Danish L-lysine production, will be presented. On the basis of these results the long and difficult way from idea over lab scale to pilot scale, and last but not least, the latest scale up step from pilot scale to full production scale will be described and discussed. The evolution from a state university scientific environment to a private company with the aim to set up a profitable large-scale production will be evaluated and discussed as well. The final result of our work is a fermentation plant using brown juice as growth medium. One single green crop drying factory producing 50 000 tons of fodder pellets a year has enough brown juice to supply a 12 500 tons L-lysine factory with fermentation medium. First step in the production chain is a lactic acid fermentation of the fresh brown juice in the green pellet factory. The lactic acid fermented brown juice is used as fermentation medium in a fermentation process, in which different carbohydrate sources can serve as extra carbon source. The actual project with scale up from laboratory to pilot scale and finally to large industrial scale production will provide the basis for the illustration of the necessity of realizing the complexity in moving from university laboratory scale to industrial production scale in a private company. We have selected the first step in the process, the pre-treatment of the brown juice to illustrate the process from university laboratory to industrial scale production.

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fermentation, industrial fermentation, continuous fermentation, lactic acid, L-lysine, Lactobacillus, green biorefinery