Class 3 microbiological cabinet for fermenters of up to 50 dm3. Buckland (1992) has stated that it now costs as much to build a 3 m3 facility for a recombinant protein which will need extensive containment provisions as for a 2000 m3 scale facility for an antibiotic. In a containment facility only 30% may be usable space. The remaining 70% of the building is needed to accommodate and service the facility.

Reisman (1993) has stressed the need for the correct level of containment. More stringent requirements may exist in a laboratory than are strictly needed. The same high level of containment in a production facility may be onerous, costly and unnecessary. Containment needs should be determined jointly by a group of appropriately trained staff.

The designing of vessels which can be converted for multi-use (Reisman, 1993) may have economic advantages, but descriptions of such vessels except at pilot scale are not common (Hambleton et al., 1991).

The life of a proposed plant has to be predicted. MacLennan (1976) has estimated the life of a single-cell protein plant to be 10 years. This is probably the lower limit. Hamer (1979) claimed that a planned SCP plant life of 15 years is typical. Acetone and butanol have been produced in 25-year-old vessels (Spivey, 1978), while in long-established breweries in Great Britain, equipment of 50 to 100 years old is still used.

Allowance must be made for the service provisions for a fermentation process. In a moderate sized antibiotic plant, there may be the need for the provision of 5 tonnes h"1 of steam, 5000 kW h 1 of electricity, 57,000 m3 h 1 of compressed air and 200,000 dm3 h 'of water (Hastings and Jackson, 1965). When producing 1 tonne of acetic acid, 480 m3 of cooling water, 10 m3 of process water, 12 tonnes of steam and 570 kW of electricity would be utilized (Pape, 1977).

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