Bioprocess Engineering

, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp 175–179

Kinetics of inhibition in propionic acid fermentation

  • P. Blanc
  • G. Goma

DOI: 10.1007/BF00387325

Cite this article as:
Blanc, P. & Goma, G. Bioprocess Engineering (1987) 2: 175. doi:10.1007/BF00387325


The inhibitory effect of propionic acid P and biomass concentration X is studied in batch and continuous fermentations with cell recycle.

In batch fermentations, the specific growth rate decreases and cancels out at a critical propionic acid concentration Pc1; the formerly decreasing specific production rate becomes constant after Pc1 and cancels out when a second critical propionic acid concentration Pc2 is reached.

In continuous fermentation with cell recycle, a similar inhibition is observed with biomass. The specific rates decrease and become constant at a critical biomass concentration Xc. They cancel out at different high biomass concentrations.

In both cases, the specific production rate can be related to the specific growth rate by the Luedeking and Piret expression: ν=αμ+β, [1], where the constants α and β are determined by the fermentation parameters.

List of Symbols

t h


X kg/m3

biomass concentration

P kg/m3

propionic acid concentration

A kg/m3

acetic acid concentration

S kg/m3

lactose concentration

dX/dt kg/(m3h)

instantaneous rate of cell growth

dP/dt kg/(m3h)

instantaneous rate of propionic acid production

μ h−1

specific growth rate

ν h−1

specific propionic acid production rate

D h−1

dilution rate

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Blanc
    • 1
  • G. Goma
    • 1
  1. 1.Département de Génie Biochimique et Alimentaire UA-CNRS 544Institut National des Sciences AppliquéesToulouse CédexFrance

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