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FERMENTATION BASICS

are 5-25% of the oxygen saturation value in cultures. At oxygen absorption rates which are lower than the critical concentrations, respiration rate is correlated with the O2 concentration in the solution. Above this value, no dependence between respiration rate and dissolved oxygen has been observed. In Newtonian fluids, such as those occurring in yeasts and bacterial fermentations, the critical oxygen concentration is constant and is not affected by fermentation conditions. In non-Newtonian solutions, such as those occurring with filamentous microorganisms, the critical oxygen concentration has been shown to be dependent on fermentation conditions.


2.5.3. Heat production
In order to obtain optimal yields, fermentations must be carried out at constant temperature. We now discuss the parameters affecting the heat balance of a fermentation process.

The rate of heat production due to stirring, gassing/aeration and due to the metabolic activity of the microorganisms must be balanced by the heat loss resulting from evaporation and radiation plus heat removal by the cooling system.

During metabolism, heat evolution is a consequence of the thermodynamics of the overall microbial activity. Apart from anaerobic digestion and some other thermophilic microbial activity, the amount of heat produced is usually so high that if it is not removed it raises the temperature of the contents of the fermentor to a level beyond the optimum range for the system.

The evolution of heat during metabolic activity is related to the utilization of the carbon and the energy source. When the carbon source is being actively incorporated into biomass trough anabolism during growth, about 40-50 % of the available enthalpy in the substrate is conserved in the biomass, the rest being given off as heat. When the carbon source is being
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