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Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-1 | Award Amount: 1.26M | Year: 2008

Whey is the major worl-wide disposal and pollution problem for the cheese making companies. The development of the project will reach the following results: The solution for the profitability management of the whey as by-product. The diversification of the whey product market avoiding strong whey prices fluctuations. Production of a new high added value product (lactic acid) at low cost from whey. The general aim of this proposal is to design a process for the lactic acid production from deproteinized whey. New immobilisation techniques will be applied in fermentation process with near Infrared spectroscopy that will be set as analytical tool to control the process in a quantitative way, at real time. Green chemistry strategies will be used for the simultaneous reaction and extraction of lactic acid in supercritical fluids technology in order to get a whole sustainable and environmental friendly process. The potential market to produce lactic acid at a low cost with higher purity based on new production technologies will suppose a great increase in the demand and the evolution of new applications. Lactic acid and its derivatives are widely used in the pharmaceutical, food, cosmetic, . Recently, in the pharmaceutical filed, there has been an increased interest in lactic acid production, since it can be used as a raw material for production of L(\)-polylactic acid, a polymer used for manufacturing high cost biomedical implants and environmental-friendly biodegradable plastic. This project requires the use of advanced facilities and the simultaneous collaboration of experts in biotechnology, supercritical fluids and processes developers. Three RTD performance has been selected to ensure the achievement of these objectives. At the end of the project relevant information required for the industrial application and exploitation of the solution will be obtained (economic prediction of production cost, chemical process designed)

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