As most renewable energy companies (and power companies) know, power consumption during aerobic fermentation is one of the major operating costs. At any given point in the process, there are many combinations of airflow and agitation that will give the required mass transfer rate. But the combined power required of the agitator plus the compressor is not constant. There is an optimum combination of airflow and agitation that yields the minimum power consumption. Moreover, since the required mass transfer rate is not constant in a batch or fed batch fermentation, that optimum combination varies throughout the batch. To take advantage of this principle, it is necessary to develop a broth-specific mass transfer correlation. A pilot protocol that covers the potential range of agitator power/volume and superficial gas velocity in the production equipment will be needed to develop a valid correlation. We can help design the pilot protocol, fir the data to a correlation, and scale-up to optimum conditions full-scale.
At Lee Enterprises Consulting, we have a number of highly qualified aerobic fermentation experts available to assist you with any related matters. Feel free to call or email us for more information.