Improvement of a Process Simulation Software for Bioengineering

Up to now, bioengineering has been lacking appropriate process simulation software. The reason is that batch wise production, unconventional procedures, missing substance data, unknown substances and non-linear processes determine bioengineered production. Conventional software is not suitable here. Bioprocessing needs a tool to create mass energy balances, as well as for efficient cost accounting and for the optimization of processing alternatives for the production. In an earlier project, INOSIM and its partners had proved that in bioengineering, simulation is not only possible but even promising. Models for mass and energy balancing could be implemented and applied. Besides, a qualitative-quantitative data model was developed, including an interface to the modeling environment. During trial runs, the prototyped simulator made the identification of weak points in the bioproduction possible, thereby initializing changes on the production processes which lead to distinct increases in productivity as well as reduced resource consumption.

Building a complete model library

It had been shown, though, that the basics for deploying the new tool in industries were still missing. Therefore, the new project aimed at building a complete model library. A further emphasis of development was on methods of dimensioning processing steps, with cost accounting and process optimization based on that.

The tool developed was tested by two industrial processes: On one hand, a prototype at project partner Planton GmbH (Kiel, Germany) simulated a production process of anti-microbial peptides; on the other hand, project partner Bayer Technology Services GmbH (Leverkusen, Germany) used the tool in a production process from their current project portfolio. Basic research for the project came from several chairs of the Department of  Bio-Chemical and Chemical Engineering at Technical University Dortmund.

Having started in the autumn of 2008, the project delivered instructive results. It was successfully finished in the autumn of  2011. The project was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the program CLIB2021. Project name: Innovative Methoden und Technologien für das Downstream-Processing, Projekt 5‚ INOSIM Bio‘, code digit 0315377.

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