Key Controllers for Creating Fermentation Systems

Cole-Parmer Antifoam Meter/Controller, AF511.2

Fermentation processes require tight control of aeration/dissolved oxygen (DO), carbon dioxide (CO2), pH, temperature, and foam to maximise cell growth and productivity. Check out these controllers to see what might improve your system (together with filters, pumps, flowmeters and accessories):

Cole-Parmer Antifoam Meter/Controller

Cole-Parmer Antifoam Meter/Controller

Measurement and Temperature Control

Resistance Temperature Detector (RTD) Probe: Controlling temperature is critical—avoid poor growth, low production, or cell death that results from a fermentation process at an incorrect temperature. Three ways to control the temperature are:

  1. Waterjacketed vessel (requires a circulating water bath)
  2. Heat exchanger (requires a circulating water bath)
  3. Heating blanket (requires a temperature controller)

pH Measurement and Control

pH Probe: A change in pH can negatively affect the viability, growth, and metabolism of cultured cells. Use a pH controller along with a peristaltic pump to add acids or bases to your culture.

Aeration/Dissolved Oxygen (DO) Control

DO Probe: Dissolved oxygen controllers drive pumps that add oxygen, air, or nitrogen to the vessel according to the needs of your process.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Measurement and Control

CO2 Probe: Many mammalian cells need CO2 for survival and growth. CO2 is introduced into the system during aeration. Too much can cause the culture to become acidic; too little can make it basic. CO2 controllers regulate the amount of CO2 entering the vessel.

Foam Level Measurement and Control (only for microbial systems). Microbial fermentation needs a generous amount of agitation and aeration. This can result in excessive foaming so antifoam controllers may keep foam levels from getting too high. Excessive foam will exit through ports in the headplate, open the system to contamination, and inhibit proper oxygen transfer.

Other fermentation equipment that’s often required:

Filters are used for the removal of particles and for maintaining sterility from incoming and outgoing process air, gas, or liquid.

Flowmeters can be used with your pumps to help control, monitor, and measure air, gas, and liquid flow. Here a flowmeter is shown with our vacuum pressure station for DO control.

Tubing is required with both peristaltic and air pumps. Silicone is the most common type used because it is flexible, durable, nontoxic, autoclavable, and can be visually inspected for contamination or wear.

Air Pumps are used to add air to the fermentation vessel. Choose a pump that is oil free and suitable for continuous duty.

Peristaltic Pumps are used to remove liquid from the vessel or to add acids and bases, antifoam reagents and nutrients for continuous or batch cultures.


View our full selection of fermentation system equipment.

Need more information on lab supplies?  Our Technical Experts would love to hear from you
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