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Four major application areas of bioreactors

Data: 2020-12-02


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Four major application areas of bioreactors
A bioreactor is a container where biological processes occur. The bioreactor is equipped with simple manual control or more complex fully automatic PLC control. Generally, the bioreactor process is a batch process, and the time from start to harvest is called activity.


Bioreactors come in many different sizes and shapes and are suitable for many applications. From the smallest reactor with a capacity of a few milliliters to a large bioreactor with a maximum of 100 cubic meters. 

According to experience, for cell culture, the oxygen flow rate is 0.1 to 0.15 times the working volume per minute, and for bacterial culture, the oxygen flow rate is 2 times the working volume per minute.

Main application areas of bioreactors:

  • Food and beverage industry

Bioreactors are used for the production of food and beverages for fermentation purposes, whether for the addition of vitamins, colorants, flavors, alcohol or antioxidants.

Originally, cheese was produced from milk by adding naturally occurring rennet, which is an enzyme derived from plants or animals. Today, the rennet used to make cheese is produced by yeast cells that grow in bioreactors.

  • Drug development and production

Biotechnology is becoming more and more important in drug development and production and stem cell proliferation. Both are used in medical treatment. Time to market, cost reduction and stable product quality are very important for the design and production of active pharmaceutical ingredients. Therefore, there is a great need for the reliability of bioreactors and the possibility of scaling up the process from a small scale to a large bioreactor.

  • Bio-based chemicals and plastics

Other examples of biotechnology applications are bio-based chemicals and plastics. Researchers are studying renewable plastics, which are made from organic materials with the help of enzymes and microorganisms. There are already attractive examples of bio-based plastics such as toys, car parts and PET bottle substitutes.

  • Sustainable energy

The transition to sustainable energy is another driving force driving the use of bioreactors. Biofuels in the form of biogas, biomethane, bioethanol and biodiesel are becoming more and more popular in our household, industrial and transportation energy supply. The fermenter maintained at a temperature of 38-40°C for fermentation is actually a bioreactor.