Menon Innovation Center and Facilities
Menon currently operates approximately 60,000 sq. ft. of research and development space, including engineering-scale fermentation, biological assay production and instrumentation prototyping facilities. At this facility, further research and advancements are continuously performed to stay ahead of competition and also provides an instructional center to train operators in the use and control of equipment that will be utilized for future full-scale commercial operations. The USA facility will have the capability to monitor, diagnose and establish optimum operating parameters and to assist regional operators in maximizing output and for problem solving.
The Menon Innovation Center includes offices, an operational 40,000L fermentation tank able to test in large scale a variety of feedstocks for its customers for optimizing the process, a microbiology laboratory, microbial colony producing equipment, biological materials testing laboratory, an assay production division, an electronics assembly area for the instrumentation division and machine shop.
The Microbiology laboratory is fully equipped for microbiological and molecular biological research, including incubators, autoclave, PCR thermal cyclers, centrifuges, microscopes, electrophoresis equipment, spectrophotometers and the like. Menon also has fluorimeters, UV transilluminators, ultracentrifuges, scintillation counters, a phosphoimager and a flow cytometer. Within the microbiology laboratory are immunoassay instruments, robotics that can process hundreds of samples, reagents and chemicals to perform DNA related work, refrigeration and ultra-low freezers, incubators, centrifuges, flasks, micropipettes and related items.
The fermentation facility includes incubators for culturing up to 80 flasks at a time, a small, fully instrumented bioreactor (Bioengineering, Inc., Model KLF Plus Solo) and 300-, 3,000- and 40,000 liter capacity custom bioreactors with requisite ancillary equipment.
Chemistry facilities include several large fume hoods for solvent-based extraction of oils and a reinforced bunker for storage of volatile chemicals such as solvents, oils and fuel. Analytical test instrumentation includes gas chromatography and high-performance liquid chromatography apparatus for detailed characterization of materials, as well as a special-purpose analyzer for dissolved sugars and selected organic compounds.
- Various feedstocks have been tested at the innovation center plant giving confidence that Menon process can be utilized in several part of the world.
- The primary focus for the innovation center plant is to produce inoculum for various factories around the world. Inoculum can be prepared for supporting at least 1,000,000 tons of MrFeed®. This matches Menon’s overall ambition to build ten plants around the world in te next 5-7 years.
- Quality control equipment exists at the innovation center to guarantee quality of inoculum and make the process reliable on every production run.