Wednesday, 15 February 2012

5.8 Fermenter

Interpret and label a diagram of an industrial fermenter and explain the need to provide suitable conditions in the fermenter, including aseptic precautions, nutrients, optimum temperature and pH, oxygenation and agitation, for the growth of microorganism.

  • The industrial fermenter is the reaction vessel in which fermentation occurs, normally made out of steel or copper. Inside of the steel jacket, there is normally another steel jacket inside, and in between the two, there will be layer of water in which it will act as a cooling jacket in order to keep the optimum temperature for the reaction to occur.
  • The fermenter will need to be cleaned and there will be a inlet where steam sterilises the fermenter between two fermentations. Steam is used to clean the tanks out.
  • Within the fermenter there will be a heating plate to raise the temperature, and the combination between the heater and the cooling jacket, provides the optimum temperature for fermentation.
  • Nutrient will also be added to the tank which will act as food for the microorganism. There would be a temperature probe in the tank in order to monitor the internal temperatures and the fermentation reaction would also require the addition of the microorganisms. The pH probe is also built in the fermenter in order to keep the conditions at the optimum rate of reaction. 
  • We will also need a way to stir the reaction and this is done by the addition of motor and this will agitate the mixture preventing the mixture to slump.
  • At the end of the reaction, we need a way to drain off the product, which also leads to a process called downstream processing which involves purification of the product
So in conclusion, the fermenter is to keep the optimum growth conditions for the conditions so it will provide the product we are looking for. 


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