To sum up, the conical fermenter plays a crucial role in beer production. Its unique design allows for easy collection of yeast and efficient removal of carbon dioxide. It also ensures continuous contact between yeast and wort, promotes fast and complete fermentation, and is easy to clean and sanitize. Conical fermenters are widely used in breweries and are essential for producing high-quality beer.
Introduction to Fermentation
Fermentation is an ancient technique that has been employed for thousands of years, initially in the production of beer. Today, fermentation technology has been combined with biotechnology to create value-added products such as hormones, enzymes, antibiotics, and other metabolites.
A fermenter is a closed and sterilized container that provides optimal growth conditions for microorganisms. The conventional design of a fermenter consists of a cylindrical vessel with a top and bottom. The bottom of the container contains a distributor surrounded by a jacket to regulate temperature.
Different Types of Fermentation Tanks
Continuous Stirring Fermenter (CSTR)
A continuous stirred tank reactor (CSTR) comprises a vessel with piping, pumps, valves, agitator, motor, shaft, and impeller. The impellers’ number depends on the size of the bioreactor. An eductor, which adds air to the medium, is also present in this type of fermenter.
Airlift reactors incorporate a baffle or draft tube in the middle, through which air is pumped into the vessel. There are two types of airlift fermenters:
- Internal circulation airlift bioreactor: It features a single central draft tube that provides internal circulation channels.
- External circulation airlift bioreactor: It includes an external circulation that separates the liquids flowing into separate channels.
Packed Bed Fermenter
In a packed bed fermenter, biocatalysts are held within hollow or tubular structures. The beds are fixed, and the medium flows through the biocatalyst, producing metabolites. These bioreactors are easy to operate but may experience clogging due to poor oxygen circulation.
Membrane bioreactors are used in conjunction with ultrafiltration and microfiltration and find applications in wastewater treatment. There are two types of membrane bioreactors:
- Submerged Membrane Bioreactor: The membrane is located inside a vessel submerged in the wastewater.
- Lateral Flow Membrane Bioreactor: The membrane is situated outside the reactor, and membrane filtration is an additional step in the process.
Bubble Column Fermenter
Bubble column fermenters consist of cylindrical columns filled with liquid, while gas is introduced from the bottom. The alignment of the columns creates turbulence for optimal gas exchange. A distributor mixes the contents of the container, and liquids flow in parallel or countercurrent directions.
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