The bio-economy holds enormous potential: everything from fuel to therapeutics and food can be produced in modified bacteria, algae and yeast.
However, there is one major bottleneck: separating the organisms from whatever they’ve been grown in. This is a very energy-intensive process, typically involving centrifugation, filtering, flocculation and drying. This process does not scale, require expensive foundations to be installed to withstand the force of centrifuges, which also have a limited maximum size. Capital costs aside, the operational expense of liquid particle separation is often more than a third of the total cost of production for bio-derived products, due to the high input costs (flocculants, energy, labour).
uFraction8 provides massively scalable bioprocessing without pre-concentration steps, filters, membranes or flocculants. It does not clog, does not have a theoretical size limit and significantly reduces energy costs, which currently represent the highest proportion of costs for producers. This allowed them to secure multiple commercial trials, from Wales to Japan and a collaboration with AkzoNobel, the biggest player in the space. The technology is based on Dr Brian Miller’s Nature-published research, and its development builds on his experience as a professional automation and controls engineer.
“Their ideas have the potential for global impact, and we are eager to work together to make the industry more sustainable.” – AkzoNobel
“The technology uFraction8 talked about is ground-breaking… a very disruptive technology.” – Murgitroyd