Pilot facility expansion
Acies Bio is investing in expanding its pilot scale facility located in Kamnik, Slovenia, 20 km from its headquarters at Technology Park Ljubljana. The fermentation capacity will be increased to more than 30 m3 total volume and the downstream processing facility expanded with several new unit operations enabling Acies Bio to better serve an even broader range of microbial biotechnology projects.
Acies Bio is investing in developing its pilot facility to allow its partners more efficient scale-up processes regardless of final product – whether it is a biomass or needs to be extracted and further purified. Acies Bio multidisciplinary team has an excellent track record of delivering scaled processes and has experiences working with a plethora of organisms at the largest scale.
The expansion is partly covered by financial support from the EU in the scope of the SUSFERT project, a BBI-JU project co-founded by the EU Commission. The expanded facility will be used for the production of sustainable fertilizers for iron supply solutions based on natural, biodegradable chelators.
Expansion of the new facility, sitting next to Acies Bio’s existing facility, began in December 2020 and is expected to be fully operational in May 2021. The expanded facility will complement the Acies Bio SmartRoute platform that offers the development of comprehensive microbial technologies from starting strain design to scale-up and DSP development.
Highlights of the expanded facility include:
- fermentation volumes ranging from 5L to 10 m3
- versatile downstream processing operations are possible with existing and commissioned equipment; e.g., centrifugation, micro/ultra/nanofiltration, reverse osmosis purification, homogenization, evaporation, various standard filtration steps, spray- and plate-drying options, L/L extractions, crystallizations, etc.
- the new DSP facility has additional reserved floor space and utilities for project-specific equipment
“Expanding our piloting capabilities will help us deliver more projects in less time, something our customers value the most,” says Dr Štefan Fujs, CEO and co-founder of Acies Bio. “Our expansion will significantly improve the bioprocess capabilities and allow us to perform more complex operations in a shorter time,” says Dr Mirjan Švagelj, head of bioprocess development. “It allows us to significantly expand the type of microbes and products that we can develop and scale at Acies Bio.”
SUSFERT develops more sustainable, multifunctional fertilizers for phosphorus and iron supply, fitting into existing production processes and EU agricultural practice. It combines bio-based and biodegradable coatings for controlled release, probiotics to increase nutrient availability, and the renewable phosphorous source struvite. SUSFERT demonstrates fertilizer efficacy for major crops, evaluates the economic potential and sustainability of the tested products, ensures regulatory compliance, and finally prepares market entry. More at www.susfert.eu and @SUSFERT_BBI.