On-Line Mass Spectrometry in the Analysis of Eight Gases During the Microbial Oxidation of Gaseous Hydrocarbons
Although the mass spectrometer (MS) has often been termed “the universal probe”, its application to the analysis and control of fermentation processes has been restricted to the determination of relatively few compounds, namely the components of air. The evaluation of the rates of consumption of O2 and production of CO2 has become established as the primary application to aerobic processes, so much so that standard computer software packages for the calculation of respiratory quotients (RQ) are commercially available. Changes in the pattern of respiration are monitored as indirect indices of changes in the culture physiology (Wang et al., 1979 and Buckland et al., 1985). This situation has arisen because the development of methods for direct MS estimation of dissolved substrate and product concentrations in broths is still in its infancy (see this Workshop). Notable exceptions include reports of the use of inlet probe-MS assemblages to sample dissolved gases such as methane and hydrogen (Lloyd et al.,1983) and volatile compounds such as methanol, ethanol, ß-ionol and ammonia (Heinzle et al., 1983).
KeywordsRespiratory Quotient Product Formation Rate Carbon Recovery Methylococcus Capsulatus Extracellular Organic Carbon
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