The research focus of our group is the development of efficient separation processes in downstream processing of biomolecules and their integration with the upstream processing steps, in particular bioreactors. This is realized by the use of thermodynamic models for the prediction of phase equilibria, unconventional solvents (ionic liquids and deep eutectic solvents) and novel stationary phases (liquid stationary phases and monoliths) together with continuous separation and integrated process concepts. The processes currently in focus are low-energy separation processes, in particular chromatography, extraction, adsorption and membranes, suitable for recovering and separation of biomolecules from complex liquid mixtures.
The research methodology involves model-based process design on the course “from biomolecule to process” and bridges the gap between molecular understanding and process implementation. The concept is general and hence applicable to diverse bioproducts of industrial relevance, including small molecules as well as macromolecules (such as proteins, polysaccharides, lipids and nucleic acids).