Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Process Engineering, Biotechnology, Nutrition Technology
Summary As part of a project on the production of penicillin, the penicillin production of two strains of Penicillium chrysogenum which have a different penicillin productivity was investigated in bubble column bioreactors and for comparison in stirred fermenters. The main interest of this study were the complicated interrelations between the stirrer speed, the stirrer type, the shear stress, the morphology of the mycelium and broth viscosity as well as the effect of the oxygen transfer behavior on antibiotic productivity. Stirred tank reactors with different turbine stirrers as well as with a draught tube and propeller were employed. The main variable investigated was the stirrer speed. At low stirrer speeds, gas dispersion is inadequate and the insufficient oxygen transfer rate is a limiting factor. At higher stirrer speeds, the oxygen supply of pulpy mycelia is improved and more cell mass is formed. This result is the same for both strains in all three reactors. If the oxygen partial pressure is near the lower cirtical value, a high percentage of the carbon source is converted into penicillin but the penicillin productivity is low due to a low percentage of penicillin producing cells. At oxygen partial pressures just above 8% saturation, the absolute penicillin productivity is maximal. At higher stirrer speeds and dissolved oxygen concentrations the penicillin production phase is shorter, cell growth is higher and a higher percentage of the carbon source is converted into CO2. In reactors with a draught tube and propeller, a lower productivity is attained than in those with turbine stirrers. The behavior of the two strains is fairly similar. The higher producing strain, however, has a more distinct separation between its periods of growth and production than does the low producing one. At high stirrer speeds the increase in the cell growth rate is less significant and the substrate yield coefficients are higher for the high producing strain than for the low producing one.
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