IP Profile: Clean process for organic added-value compounds separation

We have developed a method for large-scale purification of high added-value bioactive molecules without solvent use.

Organization: Université Laval, Quebec, CA
Inventors: Laurent Bazinet (lead), Angelo Tremblay, Jean Amiot, Jean-François Poulin, David Labbé
Primary markets: Biotech & Medical
Technology Contact: M. Gourde, Université Laval, Canada

picture of team

Functional food ingredients from natural sources become increasingly attractive to the food industry. An efficient, low cost solution to select and purify the desired extract is needed. Electrodialysis with filtration membrane (EDFM) allows the simultaneous separation of neutral and charged organic compounds from a solution using anionic and cationic membranes in combination with UF membrane stacked in an electrodialysis cell.

The process separates molecules according to their charge (driving force = electric field) and molecular weight (membrane cut-off). No pressure is applied, minimizing then the accumulation of molecules at the membrane surface. It can be used as a batch recirculation process and be less expensive than chromatography. Until now, high value compounds from organic source have been purified using expensive and sophisticated analytical procedures such as HPLC, ion-exchange and/or gel-filtration chromatography.

Membrane filtration techniques have commonly been used; but this technique exhibits low selectivity or the need for many fractionation steps when the mixtures contain different molecules of similar molecule weight. Electrofiltration, a process combining a pressure gradient and an electrical potential gradient as driving forces could be use but pressure gradient produce the accumulation of molecules on the filtration membrane surface modifying the membrane transport selectivity.

The Université Laval is looking for partners interested to develop specific extraction needs, and corporate partners interested to license the technology. To learn more, please contact Mirelle Gourde, Technology Transfer Officer at Universite Laval, at Mireille.Gourde@vrr.ulaval.ca.

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