S30: Pilot plants are still important in the 21st century

Wednesday, November 9, 2011: 9:00 AM
Islands Ballroom G-J (Marriott Marco Island)
Stuart Michael Stocks, Novozymes, DK-2880 Bagsvaerd, Denmark
Novozymes A/S is a big player in the production of enzymes for all imaginable industrial purposes, producing 10ís of 1000ís of tonnes of finished product at several globally diverse sites each year. To support this business it has a large and well equipped pilot plant located at the head office in Demark. Pilot plants have for many decades now played an important role in the successful introduction of commercial industrial bioprocesses. There was something of a zenith in the late 70ís and early 80ís, a period where various fermentation technologies were investigated for production of SCP, while enzyme and bio-pharmaceutical products became established. During these many decades very many articles have been written on the subject of scale up and scale down, and many smart ways to reduce the needs for pilot planting have been proposed and investigated. There is presently much attention to miniaturisation and micro-bioreactors which are claimed to be useful in scale down simulations of large scale equipment. Yet, here in the early 21st century, still pilot plant is an important and probably necessary step to de-risk the scale up/down process. In this presentation, the possible reasons for the continued importance of pilot planting will be discussed, drawing on some of the experiences of one employee at Novozymes A/S.