Holiferm has built a new biochemical plant in the North West of England. The plant produces biosurfactants for skin care, shower gels, cosmetics, surface cleaners, and cleaning products through yeast-based fermentation. This novel process steps away from petrochemicals or tropical oils, both of which are linked with significant environmental damage.
The plant has benefited from Chemineer agitators, designed and manufactured by Fluid Motion Solutions. For the initial four 10-m3 fermenters, Fluid Motion Solutions and Holiferm collaborated to assess the gas dispersion application’s physical properties to select the proper impeller, a BT-6. Due to the efficient dispersion mechanism of the BT-6, this impeller can handle more than five times as much gas as the D-6 impeller (Rushton turbine) before flooding. Another benefit of the BT-6 impeller is a very flat power-draw curve under gassed conditions. Its power-draw varies little with gas flow rate.
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‘Expertise in mixing and gas dispersion’
“At our first kilotonne-scale commercial biosurfactant plant,” said Andrew Hardwick, Executive Assistant, Holiferm, “Fluid Motion Solutions’ expertise in mixing and gas dispersion is ideal for our natural fermentation process.”
He added: “During the construction of our new plant on the Wirral, near Liverpool, Fluid Motion Solutions has also worked with us every step of the way to help us stay on course with our deadlines to become operational.
‘Renewable, biodegradable, and mild alternatives’
“Our plug-and-play system increases fermentation process productivity by three to four times, reducing production outlay by more than 50%. This enables us to cost-effectively manufacture our renewable, biodegradable, and mild alternatives to petrochemical-derived surfactants.”
He continued: “With the help of Fluid Motion Solution’s mixing technology, we are accelerating the transition to a circular economy by developing and supplying sustainable, non-fossil-based fermentation-derived ingredients for industrial and consumer products.”