Milking molecules from microbes

25 July, 2022

A sustainable chemical separation method that uses membranes, microalgae and artificial intelligence has been developed by a team drawn from different KAUST groups whose members have diverse specialties in bioengineering, membranes and water reuse and recycling.

Such membrane-based continuous separation and concentration processes will help realize the full potential of microbial chemical production for use in medicine and industry.

“The advantage of our method is that products can be continuously extracted from liquid microbial cultures, such as microalgae, in a process known as ‘milking,’ rather than being extracted laboriously from the biomass at the end of a batch culture,” says postdoc and first author Sebastian Overmans.

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  1. Overmans, S., Ignacz, G., Beke, A.K., Xu J., Saikaly, P., Szekely, G. & Lauersen, K.J. Continuous extraction and concentration of secreted metabolites from engineered microbes using membrane technology. Green Chemistry 24, 5479-5489 (2022).| article