GEPEA (Process Engineering for Environment and Food) Laboratory was created in 2000. It brings together the Process Engineering teams of the University of Nantes, École des Mines of Nantes and of ONIRIS (Nantes).
GEPEA is a Joint Research Unit of the CNRS (UMR CNRS 6144) since January 1, 2002.
The objective is to develop the Process Engineering in the fields of Food, of Environment and of Marine Bioressources Valorisation.
The UMR is organized with four research topics
- Bioprocesses/separation within the marine environment
- Energy Engineering
- Environmental engineering
- Matrices and food products (MAPS)Processes/Properties/Structure/Sensorial
Research activities of the “Bioprocesses/separation within the marine environment” team
The aim of this thematic is the study and development of processes for photosynthetic microorganisms exploitation and fish by-products upgrading. Pollution reduction and water reuse are also studied.
Scientific topics concern, on the one hand the influence of shear, mass and/or light transfer and mixing on the process performance, and on the other hand the process modeling in view of its control and optimization. This thematic covers two aspects: the first one deals with (photo)bioreactor engineering for biomass or secondary metabolites production such as hydrogen, lipids or pigments (European, national – CNRS, ANR – and regional research programs).
The second aspect is linked to membrane separation technologies: such processes are studied and evaluated for the water quality control (treatment and reuse for aquaculture and grey-waters, seawater treatment), for micro-algal biomass harvesting as well as for the extraction and fractionation of specific natural compounds. In the latter case, centrifugal partition chromatography is also specifically studied in our laboratory.
The team is engaged in several European programs (European Space Agency, Seafoodplus 6th PCRDT, Valbiomar-Interreg).