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Journal of Biotechnology
Vol. 245, 2017, Pages: 34–46

A review of control strategies for manipulating the feed rate in fed-batch fermentation processes

Lisa Mears, Stuart M. Stocks, Gürkan Sin, Krist V. Gernaey

Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, 2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark.


A majority of industrial fermentation processes are operated in fed-batch mode. In this case, the rate of feed addition to the system is a focus for optimising the process operation, as it directly impacts metabolic activity, as well as directly affecting the volume dynamics in the system. This review covers a range of strategies which have been employed to use the feed rate as a manipulated variable in a control strategy. The feed rate is chosen as the focus for this review, as it is seen that this variable may be used towards many different objectives depending on the process of interest, the characteristics of the strain, or the product being produced, which leads to different drivers for process optimisation. This review summarises the methods, as well as focusing on the different objectives for the controllers, and the choice of measured variables involved in the strategy. The discussion includes a summary of considerations for control strategy development.

Keywords: Fermentation; Control; Feed rate; Fed-batch; Bioprocess development; Monitoring.

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