Hoogewerff Lezing 2014
Dr. Georg Grossmann
De Hoogewerff Lezing 2014 werd dit jaar gegeven door Dr Georg Grossmann tijdens NPS14 op woensdag 5 november 2014. Het congres, dat dit jaar het thema “Fundamentally Innovative” had, vond van 3 tot 5 november plaats in DeFabrique in Utrecht. De titel van zijn lezing was: “Challenges of developing large scale industrial biotechnology in a chemical company”.
Dr Georg Grossmann was born in 1953 in Heidelberg, Germany. He started to study chemistry at Heidelberg University in 1972 and earned the Diploma in 1978. He finished his doctoral studies at the Institute for Applied Physical Chemistry at the same university in 1982, with a thesis on the properties of biopolymers in solution. He then worked at the Nuclear Research Center Karlsruhe on process development for recycling of nuclear fuels. After joining BASF as a process research chemist in 1984, he held different management positions in manufacturing, strategic planning and technology evaluation. Beginning in 2003, as Vice President Corporate Engineering, he was responsible for engineering and execution of large capital projects globally. In 2012, he took over his current position as Vice President Process Development, actually returning to the research organization where he had started his career in BASF.
Summary of the lecture
Driven by portfolio additions, customer interest and sustainability considerations, the importance of biological production of chemicals has increased substantially in the last years. Although successful R&D efforts and implementation of bio-based production had started in BASF more than 30 years ago, having to deal with living organisms, nature derived feedstocks and low concentrations of valuable products in water still defines challenges to the existing process engineering knowledge. Methods, boundary conditions and optimization strategies learned over decades of chemical development and manufacturing have to be adapted and expanded. Beyond the development of the own expertise, combined efforts of manufacturers, equipment vendors and universities are needed to further improve the basis for competitive, large scale production of biologicals.