Fermentation pilot plant
The comprehensive pilot hall facilities for biotechnology include fermentation and downstream processing capacity from laboratory scale up to a maximum of 1200 litres. Our customers include both VTT research projects and external customers from Finland and abroad. Process examples in recent years have included production of mainly fungal enzymes for modification of wood, textiles and foodstuffs, plant and human proteins for medical applications, enzymes as tools for molecular biology, active pharmaceutical ingredients for pre-clinical trials, mammalian antibodies for medical and environmental diagnostics, fuel ethanol production from cellulosic waste materials and whole microbial products for plant and animal protection formulations.
As well as production in the fermenters, we also have versatile options for downstream processing after the cultivation stage. These include: cell separation by continuous centrifugation and both vacuum- and pressure filtration; cell disruption by pressurized homogenization for release of intracellular products; product polishing by microfiltration; protein concentration by ultrafiltration and drying by lyophilisation. Facilities for vacuum evaporation of solutions and slurries are available elsewhere in VTT.
At VTT, scale-up from the world of the laboratory to the industrial environment is available without the expense of full-scale industrial trials. In cooperation with our competences in molecular biology and microbial physiology, VTT can offer process development from the level of strain development to pilot scale technological production for feasibility studies or test marketing. For some of our customers, our pilot scale is in fact “production scale”.