Pera Technology: an Interview with Andrew West

Andrew, can you tell us a bit on what Pera Technology does?
Pera Technology is a research and development consultancy that conceives and creates commercial solutions for clients and partners across Europe. We’re based in Melton Mowbray in Lecestershire, UK and have about 80 scientists and engineers working on site. We have one of the best track-records in Europe for obtaining public funding for commercial partners (From the UK government and the European Commission) but, although, we have existed for over 65 years, most people have never heard of us!

Do you do R&D in specific fields, for specific industries?

We work with almost all industrial sectors to develop technologies in a wide range of areas including biofuels, waste valorisation, chemical analysis, food research, polymer synthesis and processing, engineering, RF and microwave technology and healthcare devices. We help with the R&D and project management aspects of projects and work at all technology readiness levels from fundamental research right through to commercialisation.

How did you find out about iStill and what is the reason you order one?

We actually found out about the iStill through an internet search. We were looking for a pre-pilot-scale unit to recover ethanol from a fermentation broth in order to demonstrate proof of principle and the iStill is the perfect design – self contained, automated, simple to use and elegant. Our client is looking to find further investment at the end of the project and appearances are important to attract backers!

What do you plan to use the iStill 250 for?

Initially we will be using the iStill 250 to recover ethanol from an industrial extraction process related to environmentally-sustainable processing of woody biomass. The ethanol is included as a solvent and ‘gentle’ recovery from the sensitive mixture is important to make the process viable. We’re also looking to use the iStill in a project on advanced fermentation using non-standard feedstocks.

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