Downstream processing

New tailor-made processing methods for the separation and purification are developed, scaled-up and evaluated to provide customized applications. Our step-by-step approach covers the conception of suitable processes, the simulation and modeling of the processes and their representation on the technical and pilot scale. At the same time the industrial practicability of the processes is already evaluated at the laboratory scale and then optimized. These trials enable us to make available to our partners and customers product samples for technical application tests.

Downstream processing and product conditioning are a decisive factor in the efficiency of the entire process chain and at the Fraunhofer CBP these are integrated directly into the process development as unit operations. In parallel to the process, analytical methods are employed to evaluate the material composition of the product solutions. Process simulation and modeling with CHEMCAD help to evaluate and optimize the parameters. Thus utilization strategies can be represented along the entire process chain of feedstock processing by way of conversion through to product purification using mechanical and thermal separation processes. This procedure has already been demonstrated in numerous projects.

 

Equipment for product purification and conditioning

In addition to the above-mentioned process units the Fraunhofer CBP also has the following equipment for product purification and conditioning:

  • Distillation columns for processing under atmospheric pressure and under vacuum with capacities of 1 to 80 L / h
  • Falling film, thin film and short path evaporators for distillation under vacuum up to 350°C and with throughputs of up to 60 L / h
  • Unit for liquid-liquid extraction with a maximum throughput of 85 kg / h
  • Unit for solid-liquid extraction with a capacity of 25 L
  • Unit for the high-pressure extraction in continuous and discontinuous operation with liquid propane and supercritical carbon dioxide for extraction rates up to 10 kg / h

All systems are designed in accordance with ATEX specifcations (Zone 2, high-pressure extraction Zone 1).

Falling film evaporator
Falling film evaporator.
Vacuum rectification
Vacuum rectification.
High temperature vacuum distillation plant
High temperature vacuum distillation plant.

Drying technologies

We use various technologies for the drying of intermediates and products. For concentrating solutions or suspensions, we can gently evaporate under vacuum at Fraunhofer CBP (300 L/batch) and subsequently dry further under vacuum (30 L/batch in the cabinet dryer or 600 L/batch in the vacuum filter dryer) as well as spray drying (7.5 kg/h) or freeze drying (24 L/batch).

We are happy to provide larger drying capacities, also under hygiene requirements for the food sector, through our partner network.

Laboratory facilities for evaporation, freeze drying and spray drying are available at Fraunhofer IGB in Stuttgart for investigating the feasibility and drying of smaller sample quantities. The nozzle variants available here for spray drying enable both the spraying of homogeneous solutions (two-substance nozzle) and the spraying of two liquids that are unmixable with each other (three-substance nozzle).

The superheated steam drying process developed at Fraunhofer IGB allows volatile substances to be separated during the drying step and condensed for further use or separate disposal.

Laboratory spray dryer
Laboratory spray dryer.
Spray dryer
Spray dryer.
dried product
Dried product.