PhD Defence by Alina Anamaria Malanca

PhD Defence by Alina Anamaria Malanca


16. feb 12:30 - 15:30


Technical University of Denmark
Søltofts Plads , 2800 Kongens Lyngby
Building 228A, Room 225


DTU Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

PhD Defence by Alina Anamaria Malanca

“High performance fermentation by integration with membrane technologies: a case study on bio succinic acid"

Principal supervisor
Professor Manuel Pinelo
DTU Chemical Engineering

Associate Professor Hariklia N. Gavala
DTU Chemical Engineering

Associate Professor Ioannis V. Skiadas
DTU Chemical Engineering

Associate Professor Seyed Soheil Mansouri
DTU Chemical Engineering

Senior Researcher Merlin Alvarado Morales
DTU Chemical Engineering

Professor Fausto Gallucci
Eindhoven University of Technology
The Netherlands

Professor Apostolis Koutinas
Agricultural University of Athens, Greece

Chairperson at defence
Researcher Pedram Ramin
DTU Chemical Engineering

The defence will be hybrid.
If you wish to follow the defence online you can contact chairperson Pedram Ramin to receive the link of the defence.

Popular summery

Producing succinic acid through fermentation holds promise as a method to derive
essential chemicals from renewable sources. In this regard, succinic acid is
acknowledged as a crucial building block for various chemicals, including plasticizers,
lubricants, solvents, pharmaceutical intermediates, and food additives. Traditionally
sourced from petroleum, the transition to biomass fermentation faces challenges due
to elevated production costs. To enhance economic competitiveness and
environmental sustainability, innovative hybrid techniques and optimized production
processes are being explored. One such promising technology is membrane
electrolysis, employed in both production and separation stages of fermentation
processes. This method involves the continuous circulation of fermentation broth
between a fermenter and the cathode chamber of an electrolytic cell, potentially
eliminating product inhibition and reducing the need for alkaline substances.

This Ph.D. project adopts a synergistic approach, combining experimental and
computational methodologies to investigate the primary variables aftecting the
fermentation and the extraction rate while attempting to intensify the overall process.
Experimental characterization of the electrolytic cell revealed that succinic acid
extraction rate increases with applied voltage, solution complexity, and ions
concentration. The integrated batch fermentation-electrolytic cell proved that the
product inhibition can be overcome by the in situ extraction, allowing to potentially
switch to a continuous production. Process simulation and phenomena-based
process integration demonstrated improved economic performance and reduced
environmental impact respect to a conventional fermentation plant. Additionally, novel
intensified flowsheets and hybrid unit operation were generated. . Importantly, the
methodology isn't confined to succinic acid alone; it presents opportunities to apply
the same principles to other fermentation-produced acids and electrically charged
products like proteins.


Pedram Ramin Researcher Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering