Dr Ramesh Babu from Trinity’s School of Physics is the AMBER lead on the AgriChemWhey project that aims to take low value byproducts from the dairy processing industry – excess whey permeate (WP) and delactosed whey permeate (DLP) – and convert them into cost competitive, sustainable lactic acid. Lactic acid can then be used in value-added bio-based products for growing global markets, including biodegradable plastics, bio-based fertiliser and minerals for human nutrition.
Whey Permeate (WP) and De-lactosed Whey Permeate (DLP) are major by-products of dairy processing and represent a key challenge for the dairy industry due to a lack of reliability in current disposal routes and represent a sustainability bottleneck for the expansion of milk production in Europe in the “post-milk-quota era”. AgriChemWhey will seek to build a first-of-a kind, industrial-scale biorefinery with integrated symbiotic industrial and agricultural value chains that will have capacity to valorise over 25,000 tonnes (100% dry matter) per annum of excess WP and DLP to several added value products.
The Flagship will prove the techno-economic viability of the innovative WP/DLP-to-lactic acid biorefinery technology which is based on a unique fermentation process. AgriChemWhey aims to advance this innovative technology through the integration, optimisation and scale-up of the processes; reducing the fermentation time to a 12-hour process, optimising the upstream processing of DLG and WP, and optimising the downstream steps for simplified novel LA purification to industrial scale.
AMBER has a strong emphasis on collaboration. Central to AMBER’s research remit are collaborative projects performed with industry partners, and working with academic, industry and wider stakeholder on international and national research programmes.Get in touch