Abongnwi Millah Manka´a

Helix Lab Fellow, Class of Spring 2023

MSc Study



Aalborg University (AAU)


Novo Nordisk A/S

Project title

Investigation of sustainable water effluent re-use from purified water production

Project description:

A typical process for the core production of an API – Insulin consists of three main stages: fermentation, recovery, and purification. The core production is typically supported by the utility process that delivers a wide range of raw materials to the core production, for example, purified water.

Purified water is used for product and solvents dilutions and for the cleaning-in-place processes. Potable water is the input to the purified water production system. Potable water is softened by ion exchange, reverse osmosis and electro-deionization (EDI). These processes generate a water effluent that represents the 37% of the total water input to our Insulin Manufacturing 1 facility. Characterization of this waste effluent for re-use encompasses the scope of this project. Can this waste effluent be further treated using other purification methods to meet purified water standards? Could the effluent be treated and its use redirected into another production process? Is application of new treatment methods more sustainable and cost-effective in the long term?

Helix Lab Fellow Poster for Gallery Walk - Manka'a Abongnwi M..pdf

What was your motivation for becoming a Helix Lab Fellow?

As an international student, studying in a new environment is quite exciting but could also be a daunting task when the need to gain experience outside the walls of a classroom arises. My goal is to be a part of the solution to some of the rising world environmental problems. Helix lab offered a bridge between academic institutions and the industry. Therefore, being a Helix lab fellow was an opportunity for me to easily achieve my goal.


What is the most exciting part of being a Helix Lab Fellow?

The ability to combine having fun moments and thesis writing in an industrial environment alongside the company of other fellows. It provides a welcome environment with open access to variety of ideas and information.

What perspectives do you see for your future after being a Helix Lab Fellow?

The experiences and connections gained from being a Helix Lab fellow will help integrate me into my career path, by getting a head start in one of the companies in the Kalundborg symbiosis.