The pilot plant in Biel can extract phenolic substances (including tannins) from the bark of Swiss spruce in a two-stage water and solution-based process. The plant can produce kilogrammes of extracts that are required in the development of applications with a high degree of technological maturity.
Companies can test different processes for obtaining extracts from forest biomass on a pilot scale before implementing them at their own industrial plants. For industry partners seeking to use the plant substances in product applications, the pilot plant provides sufficient production capacity to develop applications with a high level of technological maturity. The development of applications has failed in the past owing to the inadequate quantity and quality of extract from suitable processes. The pilot plant resolves this issue.
Its capacity means that up to 50 kg of biomass a day can be processed into highly concentrated extract which is then dried to a powder-like substance in subsequent stages.
Additional systems for possible upstream or downstream process stages – such as grinding, steam explosion, membrane filtration, chemical modification and vacuum and spray drying – are also available at BFH. This means the plant facilities can be used for a wide range of plant biomass extraction processes.
We carry out chemical characterisation of the plant substances obtained at our own analytical laboratory and can provide information on the composition, application properties and storage behaviour of the extracted products.