Economical Process Evaluation
Economical process evaluation is based on a technical-economical analysis of a process, including investment and operational costs, as well sales income. The main evaluation criterion is the internal rate, which can be used for studying the feasibility of a single process or for comparing process alternatives. In addition, the collected data can be used in sensitivity analysis, giving the changes in internal rate for incremental changes in process parameters.
The Department of Biotechnology has experience in developing fermentation processes and carrying out technical-economic analysis of processes where fermentation is an essential step. In addition, raw material handling and product recovery/purification are included in the process evaluation. Specific attention is given on how operational changes in the process effect microbial parameters, and thus the feasibility of the process. Such microbial process parameters are maximum cell concentration, volumetric and specific growth rates, product yield on substrate, need of oxygen and cooling requirement.
Based on sensitivity analysis, the research strategy for process optimization may be chosen. Further, such analysis may give information on whether the microbial process limits the profitability of the process, and whether the process can be made profitable within the capability of the microorganism.
The Department of Biotechnology is supporting NTNU in the education of students within the field technical-economical evaluation of biological processes. The head of our department, research director Trond E. Ellingsen, has been assistance professor at NTNU in this field for several years.