Macroscale heat and mass transfer phenomena play important roles in determining the performance of SSF bioreactors. Therefore, in order for a mathematical model to describe bioreactor performance reasonably, it must describe these phenomena. The current chapter gives a qualitative overview of the various macroscale heat and mass transfer processes that occur within SSF bioreactors. These processes will be treated quantitatively in Chap. 18, where the various mathematical expressions that are used to describe them within bioreactor models will be presented.

Note that, in a particular SSF bioreactor, some of the heat and mass transfer mechanisms presented in this chapter may not be present, and the relative importance of the various mechanisms that are present may differ from bioreactor to bioreactor. Details specific to each bioreactor type will be covered in Chaps. 6 to 11 and 21 to 24. The current chapter focuses on the period of high heat generation, when it is necessary to remove energy from the bed, although early in the fermentation it might be necessary to transfer energy to the bed to maintain the temperature high enough to initiate growth.

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