Modeling, control, and optimization of bioprocesses

Bioprocesses are based on the activity of biomass or other biological catalysts. Biological processes are very complex in nature, so its modeling and control is not in general an easy task. A better understanding of bioprocesses via a more systematic use of modeling to formalize the knowledge will be helpful towards a more efficient operation of bioprocesses. This research line looks for advancing in that direction, enabling significant increment on efficiency and reliability of some bioprocesses of industrial importance.

Our research focuses on two bioprocesses applications of economical importance for Chile: bioprocesses for environmental protection, i.e. waste treatment, and bioenergy production.

Most of the research conducted in bioprocesses, either for waste stabilization or bioenergy production, aim to increase the understanding of the phenomena involved, or to develop new technology. This often leads to the development of increasingly complicated models. However, for those bioprocesses already under full scale implementation little efforts are usually made in order to simplify available models up to a complexity enabling its use for decision making and overall process control.

Our research is oriented towards the modeling, control and optimization of waste treatment processes and biogas production. Environment protection and renewable energy production are clearly at the core of the present societal concerns all over the world. These have been the object of several actions, including protocols, new policies and inter/intra-national agreements. This development aims gathering different fields in engineering, such as biotechnology, environmental engineering, energy production, modeling, optimization, automatic control and applied mathematics. For this purpose, these topics are developed jointly with Group of Natural Resources Management from Center of Mathematical Modeling (CMM), Escuela de Ingeniería Bioquímica de la P. Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, and Universidad de la Frontera in Chile. In France our main colaboration is with the team INRIA-INRA MERE in Montpellier.

Chilean colaborators: Héctor Ramírez C. (DIM-CMM), David Jeison (UFRO), Gonzalo Ruiz (PUCV), Andrés Donoso (PUCV).

International colaborators: Jerome Harmand (MERE), Alain Rapaport (MERE), Tewfik Sari (MERE).

Researchers AM2V: Pedro Gajardo, Francis Mairet, Juan Peypouquet.

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