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Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering

, Volume 37, Issue 6, pp 1133–1140 | Cite as

Production of alginate by Azotobacter vinelandii grown at two bioreactor scales under oxygen-limited conditions

  • Alvaro Díaz-BarreraEmail author
  • Javiera Gutierrez
  • Fabiola Martínez
  • Claudia Altamirano
Original Paper

Abstract

The oxygen transfer rate (OTR) was evaluated as a scale-up criterion for alginate production in 3- and 14-L stirred fermentors. Batch cultures were performed at different agitation rates (200, 300, and 600 rpm) and airflow rates (0.25, 0.5, and 1 vvm), resulting in different maximum OTR levels (OTRmax). Although the two reactors had a similar OTRmax (19 mmol L−1 h−1) and produced the same alginate concentration (3.8 g L−1), during the cell growth period the maximum molecular weight of the alginate was 1,250 kDa in the 3-L stirred fermentor and 590 kDa in 14-L stirred fermentor. The results showed for the first time the evolution of the molecular weight of alginate and OTR profiles for two different scales of stirred fermentors. There was a different maximum specific oxygen uptake rate between the two fermenters, reaching 8.3 mmol g−1 h−1 in 3-L bioreactor and 10.6 mmol g−1 h−1 in 14-L bioreactor, which could explain the different molecular weights observed. These findings open the possibility of using \( q_{{{\text{O}}_{ 2} }} \) instead of OTRmax as a scaling criterion to produce polymers with similar molecular weights during fermentation.

Keywords

Scale-up Alginate Molecular weight Oxygen transfer rate Stirred fermentor 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors are grateful to Fondecyt Grant 11110311 from CONICYT (Chile) for financial support.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alvaro Díaz-Barrera
    • 1
    Email author
  • Javiera Gutierrez
    • 1
  • Fabiola Martínez
    • 1
  • Claudia Altamirano
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Escuela de Ingeniería BioquímicaPontificia Universidad Católica de ValparaísoCasillaChile
  2. 2.CREAS CONICYT-REGIONALValparaísoChile

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