, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 145-152

Software sensors for fermentation processes

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Four software sensors based on standard on-line data from fermentation processes and simple mathematical models were used to monitor a number of state variables in Escherichia coli fed-batch processes: the biomass concentration, the specific growth rate, the oxygen transfer capacity of the bioreactor, and the new R O/S sensor which is the ratio between oxygen and energy substrate consumption. The R O/S variable grows continuously in a fed-batch culture with constant glucose feed, which reflects the increasing maintenance demand at declining specific growth rate. The R O/S sensor also responded to rapid pH shift-downs reflecting the increasing demand for maintenance energy. It is suggested that this sensor may be used to monitor the extent of physiological stress that demands energy for survival.