Microbial Fermentation is the growth of a microorganism, usually a bacterium, yeast, or filamentous fungus in a liquid medium to transform one material into another using the microbe’s metabolism as the manufacturing process to result in a commercial product. That product can be microbial cell mass, a product contained within the microbe, or a product that is excreted by the microbe into the liquid growth medium. Microbial fermentation has many applications, but in the most general sense, it involves the conversion of organic substances in a substrate or nutrient mixture by the metabolic activity of a microorganism. Many different genera and species of microorganisms may be used, including bacteria, yeasts and molds, and the process may occur in an aerobic or anaerobic environment. In industrial applications, the desired product from a microbial fermentation may be the biomass itself (e.g. Quorn from Fusarium venenatum) or it may be a metabolite (e.g. vinegar from lactic acid bacteria). Numerous other everyday items are made using microbial fermentations to support different industries such as nutritional supplements, cosmetics, personal care items and pharmaceuticals. The scale of microbial fermentation set ups vary considerably, but generally, in the case of a nutrient mixture conversion, the process takes place in a stirred tank bioreactor. Meanwhile, specially designed reactors are used for fermentations that can convert a solid substrate.
An expert in microbial fermentation should have sound knowledge of microbiology, biochemistry, fermenter design and operation, bioprocessing and analytical chemistry.
From a process design and technological standpoint, there is considerable know how with regards to microbial fermentation, from the bench all the way to the industrial scale. An expert in microbial fermentation can assist in many areas including initial feasibility analyses, selecting a microorganism and developing, troubleshooting and optimizing a process.
Large renewable energy and biochemical consulting firms certainly have experts in the more common areas of biofuels, renewable fuels, biomaterials, biomass, biochemicals and biotechnologies. But, they also have an expertise in a wide variety of specialty services like alternative proteins, techno-economic analysis, due diligence, feasibility studies, budgeting, project management, technology assessment, insurance, due diligence, risk management, benchmarking, intellectual property, HAZOP, financial modeling, competitor analysis, and assistance with RIN and Low Carbon Fuel Standards (LCFS) matters, and should be able to assist in things like should also be able to assist with other things like Aspen plus, logistics, bioreactor design, municipal solid waste remediation, syngas and bio-based product development, carbon credits, climate change analysis, environmental permitting, equipment sales, experimental validations, grant writing, IP strategy, life cycle analysis (LCA), plant operations, plant sales and auctions, and risk analysis (FMEA). Lee Enterprises Consulting is the world’s premier bioeconomy consulting group, with over 100 highly qualified experts serving in all these areas. Take a look at our experts and the services we provide. Most of our experts are also available to advise and serve as expert witnesses in bioeconomy litigation matters. Call us at 1+ (501) 833-8511 or email us for more information.