1.1 What is a Bioreactor?

The heart of a bioprocess used for manufacture of biological, is a bioreactor. A commercial unit is illustrated in Fig 1-1. It is usually a large vessel ranging from 1000


Fig 1-1 Large Scale Fermentor Used for Cultivating Bacteria and Yeast.
Photo courtesy of Bioengineering, Inc.

liters to 100,000 liters, made of stainless steel equipped with temperature, pH and dissolved oxygen measurement and control systems. The bioreactor is equipped with an agitation system to keep the contents uniformly mixed and to provide oxygen transfer.

The design of the bioreactor should ensure sterility and provide for containment of the genetically engineered microorganism. The bioreactor includes sensors that permit monitoring of as many critical process parameters (temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen) as possible so that they can be adjusted to within allowable values.