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Metabolic Engineering
Volume 65, 2021, Pages 42-51

The bioprocess TEA calculator: An online technoeconomic analysis tool to evaluate the commercial competitiveness of potential bioprocesses

Michael D.Lynch

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Duke University Durham, NC, USA.


Techno-economic analysis connects R&D, engineering, and business. By linking process parameters to financial metrics, it allows researchers to understand the factors controlling the potential success of their technologies. In particular, metabolic and bioprocess engineering, as disciplines, are aimed at engineering cells to synthesize products with an ultimate goal of commercial deployment. As a result it is critical to be able to understand the potential impact of strain engineering strategies and lab scale results on commercial potential. To date, while numerous techno-economic models have been developed for a wide variety of bioprocesses, they have either required process engineering expertise to adapt and/or use or do not directly connect financial outcomes to potential strain engineering results. Despite the clear value of techno-economic analysis, these challenges have made it inaccessible to many researchers. I have developed this online calculator (https://bioprocesstea.com OR http://bioprocess-tea-calculator.herokuapp.com/) to make the basic capabilities of early-stage techno-economic analysis of bioprocesses readily accessible. The tool, currently focused on aerobic fermentation processes, can be used to understand the impact of fermentation level metrics on the commercial potential of a bioprocess for the production of a wide variety of organic molecules. Using the calculator, I review the commercially relevant targets for an aerobic bioprocess for the production of diethyl malonate.

Keywords: Bioprocess models, Techno-economic analysis, Diethyl malonate.

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