Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering

, Volume 41, Issue 7, pp 917–929 | Cite as

Oxygen uptake rate as a tool for on-line estimation of cell biomass and bed temperature in a novel solid-state fermentation bioreactor

  • Sidharth Arora
  • Pritam Singh
  • Richa Rani
  • Sanjoy Ghosh
Research Paper


Direct measurement of cell biomass is difficult in a solid-state fermentation (SSF) process involving filamentous fungi since the mycelium and the solid substrate are often inseparable. However, respiratory data are rich in information for real-time monitoring of microbial biomass production. In this regard, a correlation was obtained between oxygen uptake rate (OUR) and biomass concentration (X) of Rhizopus oryzae MTCC 1987, during phytase production, in an intermittently mixed novel SSF bioreactor. To obtain the correlation, various models describing sigmoidal growth were tested, namely the logistic, Gompertz, Stannard, and Schnute models. Regression analysis of experimental results, at different operating conditions of inlet air flow rate and relative humidity suggested that OUR and X were correlated well by the logistic model (R2 > 0.90). To corroborate the use of respiratory data for on-line measurement of metabolic activity, OUR was related to metabolic heat generation rate (Rq), and the logistic model was found to satisfactorily correlate Rq and X as well. The model parameter, YQ/X, when substituted into a heat transfer design equation, along with the values of other parameters and operating variables, gave reliable estimates of bed temperature. The correlations developed in the present study, between respiratory activity and biomass concentration may be extended on to other SSF processes for further validation and real-time monitoring of cell biomass and bed temperature.


Solid-state fermentation SSF bioreactor Cell biomass Bed temperature Phytase OUR 



Dimensionless biot number


Carbon dioxide evolution rate


Colony forming units






Microbial type culture collection


Oxygen uptake rate


Packed bed bioreactor


Potato dextrose agar


Phytase screening media


Relative humidity


Submerged fermentation


Solid-state fermentation


Tray bioreactor


Heat capacity of the air


Heat capacity of the substrate


Heat capacity of the bed


Change in water carrying capacity with temperature (dHsat/dT)


Reactor bed height


Moisture content in saturated air


Thermal conductivity of the air


Thermal conductivity of the substrate


Thermal conductivity of the bed


Maintenance coefficient for O2


Maintenance coefficient for heat


Radial distance


Bioreactor radius


Coefficient of determination


Metabolic heat generation rate





To or Tin

Initial bed temperature


Temperature of surrounding


Units of enzyme


Superficial air velocity


Biomass concentration


Maximum biomass concentration


Initial biomass concentration


Yield of metabolic heat from growth


Yield of biomass from O2


Axial distance


Void fraction in the bed


Enthalpy of vaporization of water


Density of air


Density of substrate


Density of the bed



Authors gratefully acknowledge the financial assistance provided by Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee (IITR) and Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) for carrying out this work. Authors are also thankful to the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, for funding the filing of patent, for the proposed SSF bioreactor system (Patent File No. 201611020038, dated 11th June 2016).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare no competing interest.

Supplementary material

449_2018_1923_MOESM1_ESM.doc (24 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 24 KB)
449_2018_1923_MOESM2_ESM.tif (958 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (TIF 957 KB)
449_2018_1923_MOESM3_ESM.tif (833 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (TIF 832 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sidharth Arora
    • 1
  • Pritam Singh
    • 1
  • Richa Rani
    • 1
  • Sanjoy Ghosh
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiotechnologyIndian Institute of Technology RoorkeeRoorkeeIndia

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