Multivariate models for prediction of rheological characteristics of filamentous fermentation broth from the size distribution

Nanna Petersen, S. Stocks, Krist Gernaey

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


The main purpose of this article is to demonstrate that principal component analysis (PCA) and partial least squares regression (PLSR) can be used to extract information from particle size distribution data and predict rheological properties. Samples from commercially relevant Aspergillus oryzae fermentations conducted in 550 L pilot scale tanks were characterized with respect to particle size distribution, biomass concentration, and rheological properties. The rheological properties were described using the Herschel-Bulkley model. Estimation of all three parameters in the Herschel-Bulkley model (yield stress consistency index (K), and flow behavior index (n)) resulted in a large standard deviation of the parameter estimates. The flow behavior index was not found to be correlated with any of the other measured variables and previous studies have suggested a constant value of the flow behavior index in filamentous fermentations. It was therefore chosen to fix this parameter to the average value thereby decreasing the standard deviation of the estimates of the remaining theological parameters significantly. Using a PLSR model, a reasonable prediction of apparent viscosity (mu(app)), yield stress (tau(y)), and consistency index (K), could be made from the size distributions, biomass concentration, and process information. This provides a predictive method with a high predictive power for the rheology of fermentation broth, and with the advantages over previous models that tau(y) and K can be predicted as well as mu(app). Validation on an independent test set yielded a root mean square error of 1.21 Pa for tau(y), 0.209 Pa s" for K, and 0.0288 Pa s for mu(app), corresponding to R-2 = 0.95, R-2 = 0.94, and R-2 = 0.95 respectively.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBiotechnology and Bioengineering (Print)
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)61-71
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Aspergillus oryzae
  • size distribution
  • mixing
  • multivariate
  • theology
  • filamentous fermentation


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