Adwine Marie Curie

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UNEW – Newcastle University

Address: Merz Court, Newcastle upon Tyne
(+44) (0) 191 222 6000

Biopharmaceutical and Bioprocessing Technology Centre
Team Experience relevant for Anaerobic Digestion

The Newcastle University team from the Biopharmaceutical and Bioprocessing Technology Centre brings to the consortium expertise in bioprocess systems analysis, the modelling of bioprocess systems and the use of these models in bioprocess control. Bioprocess systems analysis provides the initial step to improved control. Through a combination of fundamental process understanding and

measurement of process behaviour, the Team are able to deploy a number of tools that are able to deliver insight into the behaviour of the system and the interactions that occur between system states. Quantification of these relationships is the next stage where a model structure is postulated and system identification techniques used to parameterise the model. While the Team tend to typically exploit generically structured models, there is expertise in the construction of mechanistic models and reduced complexity forms. Of particular relevance to this project will be the techniques of model fusion where multiple model types can be integrated to achieve the combined benefits of generic and mechanistic models. 

The use of models in the process control strategy is another capability that the Team can bring to the consortium. Two application areas are likely to be beneficial. Inferential estimation, where a model along with available process data, provides an estimate of process states that can be difficult to measure on-line but are critical for control purposes. Such methods have proven to be important in bioprocess systems control as they are characterised by limited measurement availability. The second area of model used is for model-based control. Here a process model sits at the heart of a control strategy and is used to provide predictive behaviour. These predictions allow the control system to be responsive to disturbance and provide the capability to cope with natural process characteristics such as constraints, interactions and non-linearity. The model based strategy offers distinct advantages over classical control approaches which are compromised in effectiveness by linearity assumptions. 

Finally the higher level control functions need to monitor process performance and provide set point information to lower level controllers. Again not only do the Newcastle team have the expertise to develop and exploit the algorithms required, they have the experience of applying these to bioprocess systems in an industrial environment.

So in conclusion the key subject areas in which the Newcastle Team is working and can bring expertise to the Consortium are:

·       Bioprocess systems analysis

·       Bioprocess systems modelling (both generic and mechanistically structured)

·       Inferential measurement for bioprocess state determination 

·       Model based controller design and implementation

·       Process performance monitoring for robust operation and optimization.