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Bioreactor Technology: How can you upgrade your Gas Flow Control?
In recent years we have an increasing demand for reliable, repeatable and flexible gas supply systems for bioreactors. This is due to the ever more demanding, critical and delicate processes in the bio-industry where VA meters are no longer suitable and mass flow controllers are improving the process.
As an example the adequate supply of oxygen to the bioprocess is important. The metabolism of the microorganisms is dependent on the dissolved oxygen concentration, so that a precise control is desirable. Therefore the oxygen concentration must be lowered or increased as required by adding of either nitrogen or oxygen.
Another important variable is the the pH value. For microbial bioprocesses this is done with the addition of liquid acids and alkalis. For cell culture, on the other hand, one uses only liquid alkalis. The liquid acid can damage the cells so you use CO2 instead of liquid acid. There are many different bioreactor processes and each has it specific reason to use gases, but they all have in common that gas flow control plays an important and not to be underestimate role in the process. Gas needs to be measured and controlled on a reliable and safe way.
Traditionally these gas flows were done using manual VA-meters with integrated valves. But nowadays users want to automate their process. Some more demanding processes also require a higher performance (mainly repeatability). Due to these demands we often get the request to upgrade older VA-based gas supply systems to modern automated controls with this better performance.