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METHODS OF EXTRACTION AND SEPARATION OF BIOMOLECULES

The axis "Methods for extraction and separation of biomolecules " comprises 2 sub-axes: 1) Liquid / solid extraction (separation) and 2) Fine extraction of biomolecules from liquid or solid matrices. 

The first sub-axis "liquid / solid extraction (separation)" brings together the mechanical processes of pressing (sugar beets, apples, grapes, oilseeds, biomass, ...) and filtration-dehydration of suspensions (industrial Food by-products, industrial sludge, etc.). For example, we aim to improve the conventional theory of filtration by taking into account the phenomena of redistribution of pressure at the interface between the filter cake and the filter media. We seek alternative methods of physical characterization of sediments (determination of their permeability, compressibility) by experiments on a photo-centrifuge. We develop pressing models from bio-solids. The link between physicochemical characteristics, varieties and cultural routes of the treated raw material and behavior during the pressing process is also discussed. We also study the combination of classical methods of liquid / solid separation with the innovative pretreatments and technologies developed in axis 2.    

The second sub-axis "Fine extraction of biomolecules" has emerged more recently. In this subject, we apply scientific expertise on the extraction of biomolecules by green solvents (water, ethanol, etc.), membrane processes (tangential and dynamic ultra- and nano-filtrations), crystallization and Extraction by supercritical fluid. The legitimacy of this activity is clearly established because it is very complementary to the activity of the first sub-axis identified in our team, and it allows us to finalize our scientific approach by a selective extraction of the biomolecules of interest. The team is interested in the dynamic filtration and industrial applications of diaphragms in food processing (milk, oil), biotechnology (extraction of oligo and polysaccharides from fermentation musts) and effluent treatment processes, agricultural effluents, etc.).

Our activity on crystallization started in 2009. Vacuum crystallization equipment allows us to finalize our actions to obtain end products from agro-resources (for example, beet sugar treated by pulsed electric field technology).