Biochemical Engineering and Pilot Plant Research and Development Laboratory

The Biochemical Engineering and Pilot Plant Research and Development Laboratory was established in 1986 under a cooperative program between BIOTEC and King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT). The Laboratory serves as a center for research and development in biochemical engineering and pilot plant design, with a strong emphasis on applications suitable to local industrial needs.

Research Scope

  • Algal Biotechnology. This group gives emphasis to research into the development of mass cultivation techniques and process designs for microalgae, the biosynthesis of high value chemicals from Spirulina such as phycocyanin and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), as well as the use of cyanobacteria as a plant model for studying of stress response, photosynthesis and respiration.
  • Sensor Technology. This research and development program covers ultrasensitive and simultaneous DNA and protein electrochemical/optical detections, nanomaterials based bioanalytics and sensors on chip and electrochemical biosensors and devices for real applications.
  • Microbial Bioprocess Development. The research work in this group gives emphasis to microbial metabolism and molecular physiology relevant to the metabolic networks of microorganisms and the modification of pathways. The group works to optimize fermentation process design and also to produce biological products at a pilot scale. Production orders and assistance with process development are also carried out for the private sector.
  • Systems Biology and Bioinformatics. This group has applied systems biology and bioinformatics approach to analyze the –omics data of various organisms such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Spirulina, cassava, Plasmodium and Tuberculosis, aiming to understand the biology of these organisms at the systems level with applications to strain improvement and antibacterial target identification.

Highlights

  • Draft genome sequence of Spirulina platensis C1.
  • A genome-scale metabolic models of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Spirulina platensis C1.
  • Technology for mass cultivation of local strain Spirulina.
  • Development of pilot scale fermentation for microbial production to supply industrial partners.  Examples include baker's yeast, Bacillus subtilis, Aspergillus sp., etc.
  • The production of GLA from Spirulina platensis.
  • Sucrose measuring device based on pulse amperometry for sugar mill factories.
  • Chemical oxygen demand (COD) sensor employing a stopped-flow thin layer electrochemical cell.
  • Capsaicin sensor for sensory analysis of standard spicy products. 

Major Equipment and Facilities

  • Microbial production facility and product development: a wide range of fermentors (5 to 1,500L), rotating drum bioreactors (200 to 5,000L), various types of dryers (drum, flash and spray dryers), continuous centrifugal separator, multistage distillery, fluidized bed furnace, tubular photobioreactor and ultrafiltration.
  • Race-way ponds for production of microalgae.
  • High performance analytical equipment: HPLC, MALDI-TOF, GC-MS/MS, 2D gel electrophoresis.

Director

Assoc. Prof. Solot Suwanyuen

Contact Address

Biochemical Engineering and Pilot Plant Research and Development Laboratory
King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi (Bangkhuntien)
83 Moo 8 Thakham, Bangkhuntien
Bangkok 10150 Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 2470 7469, 2470 7545
Fax: +66 (0) 2452 3455
Website: http://www.pdti.kmutt.ac.th/th/index.php/content/view/78/34/