Welcome to the Biorefinery Research Group. The biorefinery refines and converts organic raw materials (lignocellulosic biomass, sewage sludge, agro-industrial waste, organic fraction of municipal solid waste among others) into multiple valuable products. Similarly to the petroleum refinery, the biorefinery should produce several different industrial products such as: transportation fuels, commodity chemicals and materials as well as high-value, low-volume specialty chemicals.
The development of waste biorefinery is mounted on three important factors: (1) the increasing energy demand, (2) the negative impact of fossil fuel usage on global climate change and (3) the need for management of waste generated by growing World’s population.
The development of fermentation technologies gained momentum in recent years due to the market need for bio-based products. Microorganisms are responsible for global biochemical cycles and therefore play an essential role in the environment. Most of the biotechnological processes use pure culture fermentation as process parameters can be optimized for specific strains of microorganism. However, pure culture fermentation has fundamental disadvantage – it requires sterile operating conditions and high quality and purity raw material. Mixed culture fermentation (MCF), on the other hand, does not rely on specific microorganism’s strain and can be operated in non-sterile conditions without significant risk of contamination. In the Biorefinery Research Group we are focused on the mixed culture fermentation processes.