Food Research Department. School of Chemistry – Autonomous University of Coahuila

BioEnergy Research Journal.


Biorefinery Lab, Pilot Plant Facility, Services & Consulting

On this page you can find information about: 1) Biorefinery laboratory equipment, 2) Integrated Biorefinery Pilot Plant Facility, 3) Analytical Facilities and Services and Consulting.


The biorefinery lab and integrated biorefinery pilot plant are part of the Food Research Department (Location). The strategy of Biorefinery lab and Pilot Plant focuses on the development and consolidation on bioconversion of lignocellulose and aquatic (macro- micro algae) biomass using environmental friendly processes (hydrothermal process) for the production of bio-based products and biofuels.




1) Biorefinery laboratory equipment

Equipment overview:

  • Reactors for hydrothermal pretreatment (high pressure technology) and fractionation of biomass with temperature and stirring rate controls. These reactors are suitable for sub and supercritical water and organosolv process. Steel batch pressurized reactor are design by Biorefinery group with a proportional-integral-derivative (PID) control for temperature. Also, in facilities we have a 1 L Parr reactor.


  • Gas lift and column bioreactor for fermentation process and microalgae cultivation (2.7 L). Bioreactor Design by Biorefinery group


  • Bioreactor for enzymatic hydrolysis at high solid loading (2 L).  Bioreactor Design by Biorefinery group


  • Algal Biomass Facilities. Micro-algal biomass. Our interest in this area centre on the design of cultivation systems and the use of micro-algal biomass for biofuels production and bio-based products in terms of biorefinery. At our lab we are producing smaller batches of Spirulina platensis for experimental purposes. The kinetics of algal growth is carried out using our instrumented lab-scale system.


  • High-Performance Liquid Chromatography-Gel Permeation Chromatography (HPLC-GPC) [Agilent Technologies] with a Refractive Index (RI) and Diode-Array (DAD) detectors for the determination and quantification of sugars, organic acids, alcohols, phenolic compounds and polymer molecular weight distributions.

  • Auxiliary equipment: Orbital shaker with temperature and speed controls, Autoclave, Ovens and muffle, Refrigeration and freezing, Thermostats, pH meters, MARS 6 – Microwave Digestion System for extraction and pretreatment, and more specific equipment. Software for modeling (Matlab, Polymath) and statistical analysis (Statistica software).
  • Virtual platforms and academic research databases. The Autonomous University of Coahuila has useful resources on virtual teaching and learning activity, work meetings, virtual conferences through the digital platform: Microsoft Teams. Also, the Digital Library at the Autonomous University of Coahuila provides access to academic research databases such as: Scopus, ScienceDirect, SciFinder, SpringerLink, Wiley, and others.


2) Integrated Biorefinery Pilot Plant Facility

The Integrated Biorefinery Pilot Plant Facility was inaugurated in June 2017 and is a bridge between academic (researches) bench-top with demo-scale research and industry partners to develop process, scale-up strategies,  evaluate, and demonstrate processes and technologies for biomass fractionation and the custom manufacturing of biobased products and processes related to the circular bioeconomy.

Biorefinery faculty make working with academy, industries and governments a priority, which means posgraduate and undergraduate students receive a highly relevant learning experience in this pilot plant.


  • Tubular hydrothermal batch reactor technology for biomass fractionation. Hydrothermal reactor Design by Biorefinery group



3) Analytical Facilities, Services & Consulting

Biorefinery lab and Pilot Plant benefits society in a direct way, by leveraging investment made in its research facilities. Access to Biorefinery lab advanced instrumentation can enhance scientific and technological developments carried out by external users from academia and industry.

Biorefinery lab uses a variety of methodologies for chemical characterization of raw materials (lignocellulose and aquatic biomass) [DNS method, Anthrone Method], Determination of by HPLC, procedure and strategies for enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation process, Procedure production and extraction of high added-value compounds, Procedure for hydrothermal pretreatment, Procedure for solid-state fermentation process.


Take advantage of our expertise in the handling and processing of biomass – External Services

Biorefinery Group is committed to the community and establishing and building relationships with partners in academic institutions, research centers and industry.

Services offered:

  • Determination and quantification of sugars, organic acids, alcohols, phenolic compounds and polymer molecular weight distributions.
  • Chemical characterization of feedstock as lignocellulose and aquatic biomass.
  • Procedure, strategies, scale-up and demonstration of fermentation and extraction processes using lignocellulose and aquatic biomass. Batch, fed-batch and continuous fermentations strategies. Experience with yeast and fungal systems. Process development and optimization for production of bio-based products [Industrial enzymes, biofuels, biochemicals, bioplastics, food ingredients].
  • Processing of biomass at pilot plant for lignocellulose and aquatic biomass.
  • Expertise in development, scale-up and demonstration of product.
  • Prototype design, and manufacturing of bioreactors at different scales: laboratory and pilot.
  • Procedure and strategies for microalgae cultivation.



For further information, please do not hesitate to contact us at:

Dr. Héctor A. Ruiz:

Dr. Rosa M. Rodríguez-Jasso:

Phone: (+52) 844 416 12 38