This short animation describes the aim of the SynBio4Flav project, including how the project applies new methods to manufacture flavonoids. The questions below can further elucide some of the factors, methods and mechanisms at play in the SynBio4Flav project.
What is a bioreactor?
A bioreactor is a vessel, in which biological processes can happen in a controlled way under favourable conditions. They are commonly used for the manufacturing of products that involve organisms, mainly microorganisms. Bioreactor size can range from one litre up to several cubic metres for application in industrial production. Bioreactors are generally referred to as biotechnological applications. Traditional techniques that involve microbial activities such as brewing beer or the production of wine, are comparable to the bioactive processes in bioreactors.
What would be the benefit of flavonoid production in microbial bioreactor farms?
Microbial farms in bioreactors enable production under highly controlled conditions, for example under optimal temperature and with optimal feed for the microbes. It is considered a clean and efficient way of producing flavonoids instead of growing plants and extracting the small quantities of flavonoids the plants produce. The production can happen locally where flavonoids are needed, so cultivation and transport costs can be avoided.
What are down-streaming processes in biotechnology?
The recovery and purification of substances from natural resources, as well as the disposal of waste and potential recycling of side products is comprised under the term down-streaming processes. These processes can be very cost-intensive, especially if the yieldable quantities are small, or if complex purification processes are required. The biological production performed by microorganisms in bioreactors under optimised conditions is expected to reduce down-streaming costs.