Sometimes we think of fermentation in terms preserving foods or producing alcoholic beverages or acidic dairy products. But the term “fermentation” encompasses much. Fermentation waste treatment is the production of chemical changes in wastes via some enzymatic action. This is normally done to make the waste into a useable product like biofuels. Just as there are many types of fermentation, there are many fermentation experts. Generally, expert in fermentation waste is one with degrees in microbiology and/or process engineering and experience in aerobic digestion, anaerobic digestion, and waste fermentation generally. For the solid-state fermentation (SSF) expert, we would normally see heavy expertise in the food, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, fuel and/or textile industries.
What do fermentation waste experts do? First and foremost, they understand the total inputs and outputs of a fermentation process. They understand how to exchange toxic for non-toxic inputs and how to identify inputs with potential to be diverted into existing or new products, recycle streams, and minimized waste streams before anything is disposed through water treatment plants, landfills, or other approved methods. A fermentation waste expert can provide insights to modify the inputs to the fermentation process to avoid or reduce ultimate waste streams remaining after recovery of products from fermentation. Simply put, a fermentation expert combines the scientific training of a microbiologist, with the process and plant knowledge of the chemical engineer, and experience with a range of process types and microbial platforms.
Large renewable energy and biochemical consulting firms will certainly have experts in many fermentation areas, and in the more common areas like biofuels, biomaterials, biomass, biomass power, bio-based chemicals, biotechnologies and renewable fuels and chemicals in general. Energy consultants should be willing to discuss client’s initial questions about renewable energy sources, the types of biofuels, biofuel companies, synthetic biology, biomass renewable energy, biofuel energy, conversion technologies for things like tires and railroad ties, and about the circular economy in general. These clean energy experts would optimally be part of a larger, multidisciplinary group of green energy consultants with a wide variety of expertise in more specialized areas like biomass production, financial due diligence, organic synthesis, fuel additives, ethanol gas, biodiesel fuel including algae biofuels, solid state and industrial fermentation, green energy grants, ag biotech, agricultural waste, alcohol fuels, alternative proteins and animal-free products, sustainable foods, biocatalysis, biodiesel conversion, biogas production, biomass power, carbon intensity, co2 utilization, combined heat & power, Fischer-Tropsch technology, food waste, hydrothermal carbonization, industrial enzymes, landfill management, microbial fermentation, organic synthesis, plastic pyrolysis, plastic recycling, plastic waste, pyrolysis oil, reactor design, renewable identification number, the Renewable Fuel Standard (rfs2), solid recovered fuels, torrefaction and torrefied biomass, waste to energy, and waste-to-hydrogen. Finally, members and strategic partners of these green energy consulting firms should also have the availability to do things like engineering, technical feasibility studies and techno-economic analysis, due diligence, and feasibility studies, and provide expert witness testimony, and should have the contacts to assist with renewable energy finance, accounting, plant safety and insurance, legal, and virtually any other services related to the bioeconomy.
Lee Enterprises Consulting is the world’s premier bioeconomy consulting group, with over 100 highly qualified experts serving in all these areas. Look at our experts and the services we provide. Most of our experts are also available to advise and serve as expert witnesses in bioeconomy litigation matters. For the larger projects, we specialize in putting together full service, interdisciplinary teams with one point of contact. Call us at 1+ (501) 833-8511 or email us for more information. See also, The Role of Chemical Recycling in Waste Management and Fermentation Process Scale Up.