Factory Fermentation Operation

Figures 1 and 6, respectively, show a process flow diagram of amino acid fermentation. The process comprises the steps of laboratory seed culture, factory seed culture (Fig. 6), and fermentation (Fig. 1), and the size of culturing is scaled up in this order.

Laboratory Seed Culture and Factory Seed Culture

The most important feature in the steps of laboratory and factory seed culture is to ensure active microbes. This promotes initial growth of microbes at the fermentation step and stabilizes fermentation. Although the cost required for these steps accounts for a relatively large portion of that of the whole process, the steps are of much importance to properly operate the process; it is thus necessary to carry out the steps only under optimum conditions. Laboratory seed culture requires an exceedingly high level of sterility because all subsequent steps for all of the lots may be lost as a result of contamination at this step. Likewise, transfer from laboratory seed culture to factory seed culture must be performed under highly sterile conditions. Typically, all transfer steps after laboratory seed culture are closed, and the whole fermentation train of equipment must be sterilized carefully before the initiation of transfer. Because amino acid fermentation is generally carried out under aerobic conditions at a neutral pH, the process will easily support the growth of a contaminant.

Fermentation Equipment

Figure 7 illustrates a typical fermenter. Amino acid fermentation is performed aerobically, so an efficient oxygen supply is required. The effect of oxygen supply on amino acid fermentation is shown in Table 6, which indicates that the sufficiency rate of oxygen required (rab/KrM) by microbes is controlled by the oxygen transfer efficiency of the fermenter. Oxygen transfer efficiency correlates with aeration and agitation conditions. It strongly affects the results of fermentation and at the same time constitutes the main factor of the cost of utilities.

STM (high)

Figure 7 illustrates a typical fermenter. Amino acid fermentation is performed aerobically, so an efficient oxygen supply is required. The effect of oxygen supply on amino acid fermentation is shown in Table 6, which indicates that the sufficiency rate of oxygen required (rab/KrM) by microbes is controlled by the oxygen transfer efficiency of the fermenter. Oxygen transfer efficiency correlates with aeration and agitation conditions. It strongly affects the results of fermentation and at the same time constitutes the main factor of the cost of utilities.

STM (high)

Diluted molasses tank

Fermentation Cooling Flow Diagram

Jet heater

Hot water Hot water tank Hot water

Molasses

Diluted molasses tank

Jet heater

Cooling water

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