Novel strategies for control of fermentation processes

Lisa Mears, Stuart Stocks, Gürkan Sin, Krist Gernaey, Kris Villez

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Bioprocesses are inherently sensitive to fluctuations in processing conditions and must be tightly regulated to maintain cellular productivity. Industrial fermentations are often difficult to replicate across production sites or between facilities as the small operating differences in the equipment affect the way the batches should be optimally run. In addition, batches run in the same facility can also be affected by batch variations in the growth characteristics of a specific cultivation. There is demand therefore to identify key monitoring parameters and to continually monitor the performance of a fermentation.

Industrial fermentation processes are typically operated in fed batch mode, which also poses specific challenges for process monitoring and control. This is due to many reasons including non-linear behaviour, and a relatively poor understanding of the system dynamics. It is therefore challenging for the process engineer to optimise the operation conditions, due to a lack of available process models, and complex interactions between variables which are not easy to define, especially across scales and equipment. There is however a vast amount of batch process data generated, which can be investigated with the aim of identifying desirable process operating conditions, and therefore areas of focus for optimising the process operation. This requires multivariate methods which can utilise the complex datasets which are routinely collected, containing online measured variables and offline sample data. This is interesting, since the process dynamics are governed by the combination of process variables, and cannot be fully characterised by individual variables alone.
A 30 batch dataset from a production process operating at Novozymes A/S is analysed by multivariate analysis with the aim of predicting the final product concentration, which is measured offline at the end of each batch. By creating a model for product concentration, it is possible to analyse the model results and interpret this to guide process optimisation efforts towards achieving a greater product concentration. By analysis of the variable contributions to the prediction, and the variable trends, it may be possible to develop improved control strategies for these variables.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2015
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Event19th Nordic Process Control Workshop - Hurtigruten, Trondheim, Norway
Duration: 13 Jan 201516 Jan 2015
Conference number: 19


Conference19th Nordic Process Control Workshop


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