Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering

, Volume 25, Issue 5, pp 299–307 | Cite as

Multicriteria optimization of gluconic acid production using net flow

  • H. Halsall-Whitney
  • D. Taylor
  • J. ThibaultEmail author
Original Paper


The biochemical process industry is often confronted with the challenge of making decisions in an atmosphere of multiple and conflicting objectives. Recent innovations in the field of operations research and systems science have yielded rigorous multicriteria optimization techniques that can be successfully applied to the field of biochemical engineering. These techniques incorporate the expert's experience into the optimization routine and provide valuable information about the zone of possible solutions. This paper presents a multicriteria optimization strategy that generates a Pareto domain, given a set of conflicting objective criteria, and determines the optimal operating region for the production of gluconic acid using the net flow method (NFM). The objective criteria include maximizing the productivity and concentration of gluconic acid, while minimizing the residual substrate. Three optimization strategies are considered. The first two strategies identify the optimal operating region for the process inputs. The results yielded an acceptable compromise between productivity, gluconic acid concentration and residual substrate concentration. Fixing the process inputs representing the batch time, initial substrate concentration and initial biomass equal to their optimal values, the remaining simulations were used to study the sensitivity of the optimum operating region to changes in the oxygen mass transfer coefficient, K L a, by utilizing a multi-level K L a strategy. The results show that controlling K L a during the reaction reduced the production of biomass, which in turn resulted in increased productivity and concentration of gluconic acid above that of a fixed K L a.


Multicriteria optimization Pareto domain Net flow Gluconic acid production 

List of symbols


dissolved oxygen concentration in the broth, gl-1


individual concordance index


global concordance index


concentration of oxygen in liquid in equilibrium with gas phase, gl-1


discordance index


avolumetric oxygen transfer coefficient, h-1


Michaelis constant for lactone production, gl-1


gluconolactone hydrolysis rate constant, h-1


Monod rate constant of growth with respect to oxygen, gl-1


Monod rate constant of growth with respect to glucose, gl-1


gluconolactone concentration, gl-1


gluconic acid concentration, gl-1


final gluconic acid concentration, gl-1


gluconic acid productivity, gl-1h-1


preference threshold


power supply for agitation in the reactor, Wm-3


indifference threshold


substrate concentration, gl-1


initial substrate concentration, gl-1


batch time, h


time, h


superficial gas velocity of air entering the reactor, ms-1


veto threshold


velocity constant for lactone production, mg UOD-1h-1


weight, dimensionless


cell concentration, UOD ml-1


initial cell concentration, UOD ml-1


yield of growth based on oxygen, UOD mg-1


yield of growth based on glucose, UOD mg-1


maximum specific growth rate, h-1


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada

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