Characteristics of Ideal Fermenter
- The industrial microorganisms require to grow in a large vessel containing considerable quantities of nutrient media by maintaining favorable conditions. These containers are called fermenters.
- These fermenters provide optimum growth and metabolism to microbe strains for production of the desired product.
- The term ‘bioreactor’ is often used synonymously for the fermenter. Generally, fermenters are used for the growth of prokaryotic cells such as bacteria, actinomycetes etc, while bioreactors are used for the growth of eukaryotic cells such as an insect, mammalian cells etc.
- The design of the fermenter depends upon the purpose for which it is to be used.
- Bioreactors arc extensively used for food processing, fermentation, waste treatment, etc.
An ideal fermenter should possess the following characteristics.
- It should provide the best possible growth conditions to industrial strains
- The fermenter should be so designed that it may be steam-sterilized under pressure.
- It must make some provision for the control of contaminating microorganisms during fermentation.
- It should have the provision and control aver various operations like pH, temperature, agitation, aeration etc it may have facilities for monitoring all conditions.
- The fermenter should provide all aseptic conditions at the time of sample withdrawal and addition of inoculum.
- The fermenter vessels must be strong enough to withstand the pressures and toxicity of media.
- Fermenter must have the facility of incorporation of sterile air and stirring.
- It should provide all facilities for intermittent addition of antifoam agents, alkali or acid and other nutrients.
- The fermenter should have additional inoculum, seed, or media tanks.
- It should be designed in such a way that it consumes less power, has less evaporation, can be used for long periods of operation, and has proper sampling facilities.
- It should have the facility for complete removal of broth from the tank and should be easy to clean.