The purpose of this article is to demonstrate how a model can be constructed such that the progress of a submerged fed‐batch fermentation of a filamentous fungus can be predicted with acceptable accuracy. The studied process was enzyme production with Aspergillus oryzae in 550 L pilot plant stirred tank reactors. Different conditions of agitation and aeration were employed as well as two different impeller geometries. The limiting factor for the productivity was oxygen supply to the fermentation broth, and the carbon substrate feed flow rate was controlled by the dissolved oxygen tension. In order to predict the available oxygen transfer in the system, the stoichiometry of the reaction equation including maintenance substrate consumption was first determined. Mainly based on the biomass concentration a viscosity prediction model was constructed, because rising viscosity of the fermentation broth due to hyphal growth of the fungus leads to significant lower mass transfer towards the end of the fermentation process. Each compartment of the model was shown to predict the experimental results well. The overall model can be used to predict key process parameters at varying fermentation conditions.
- Mass transfer coefficient
- Submerged filamentous fermentation
- Unstructured modeling