Screening of organic solvents for bioprocesses using aqueous-organic two-phase systems

Inês P. Rosinha Grundtvig, Søren Heintz, Ulrich Krühne, Krist V. Gernaey, Patrick Adlercreutz, John D. Hayler, Andy S. Wells, John M. Woodley*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

252 Downloads (Pure)


The application of conventional organic solvents has been essential in several steps of bioprocesses in order to achieve sufficient economic efficiency. The use of organic solvents is frequently essential either to partly or fully replace water in the reaction medium or as a process aid for downstream separation. Nowadays, manufacturers are increasingly requested to avoid and substitute solvents with hazardous potential. Therefore, the solvent selection must account for potential environmental hazards, health and safety problems, in addition to fulfilling the ideal characteristics for application in a process. For the first time, criteria including Environment, Health and Safety (EHS), as well as the technical requirements for reaction and separation have been reviewed, collected and integrated in a single screening strategy to be used as a guideline for narrowing down the list of solvents to test experimentally. Additionally, we have also included a solvent selection guide based on the methodology developed in the Innovative Medicines Initiative CHEM21 (IMI CHEM21) project and applied specifically to water-immiscible solvents commonly used in bioprocesses.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBiotechnology Advances
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)1801-1814
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Bioprocesses
  • Biphasic systems
  • Downstream processing
  • In situ product removal
  • Organic solvents screening

Cite this