Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Faculty Research


Improved Scale-up Strategies of Bioreactors

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 10-1992


Effective scale-up is essential for successful bioprocessing. While it is desirable to keep as many operating parameters constant as possible during the scale-up, the number of constant parameters realizable is limited by the degrees of freedom in designing the large-scale operation. Scale-up of aerobic fermentations is often carried out on the basis of a constant oxygen transfer coefficient, k L a, to ensure the same oxygen supply rate to support normal growth and metabolism of the desired high cell populations. In this paper, it is proposed to replace the scale-up criterion of constant k L by a more direct and meaningful criterion of equal oxygen transfer rate at a predetermined value of dissolved oxygen concentration. This can be achieved by using different oxygen partial pressures in the influent gas streams for different scales of operation. One more degree of freedom, i.e., gas-phase oxygen partial pressure, is thus added to the process of scale-up. Accordingly, one more operating factor can be maintained constant during scale-up. It can be used to regulate the power consumption in large-scale fermentors for economical considerations or to describe the fluid mixing more precisely. Examples are given to show that the results of optimization achieved in the bench-scale study can be translated to the production-scale fermentor more successfully with only a small change in the gas-phase oxygen partial pressure employed in the bench-scale operation.

Publication Title

Bioprocess Engineering





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