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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


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 used 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 organic solvent 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.


  • Inês P. Rosinha Grundtvig
  • Søren Heintz
  • Ulrich Krühne
  • Krist V. Gernaey
  • Patrick Adlercreutz
  • John D. Hayler
  • Andy S. Wells
  • John M. Woodley
External organisations
  • Technical University of Denmark
  • GlaxoSmithKline R&D
  • Charnwood Technical Consulting Ltd
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Industrial Biotechnology


  • Bioprocesses, Biphasic systems, Downstream processing, In situ product removal, Organic solvents screening
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1801-1814
JournalBiotechnology Advances
Issue number7
Early online date2018 Jan 1
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Nov
Publication categoryResearch