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Fermentation: Optimize bio-ethanol production Virtual Lab

Learn how to optimize alcohol production in a fermentor. Will you be able to create the ideal conditions for the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae to produce bioethanol?

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Fermentation: Optimize bio-ethanol production

About this Simulation

This simulation has been adapted from the original, longer “Fermentation” simulation.

You will experiment with the growth conditions of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae in order to produce as much bio-ethanol as quickly as possible. The production of ethanol through fermentation by the yeast is widely used to produce alcoholic drinks such as beer and wine. It can also be harnessed to sustainably produce bio-ethanol that could be used as fuel.

Setting up your experiment

Your mission will be to optimize bio-ethanol production on a pilot scale. After setting up the bench-top fermentor or bioreactor, you will add a yeast inoculum and run a fermentation experiment. Dr. One will guide you through the first experiment, including how to work aseptically and the first set of culture conditions. Once you are familiar with the equipment you can experiment freely with the fermentor.

Pilot scale fermentation

Because you are working in the virtual lab, you will be able to gather data very quickly. This allows you to test many different growth parameters and see the effects of different combinations of temperature, gas composition, level of stirring, and pH in a matter of minutes.

Qualitative data analysis

Once you have performed a number of fermentation experiments, you will compare the results. Dr. One will guide you through qualitative analysis of key parameters of the fermentation process. Can you decide together which culture conditions should be used tor optimal bio-ethanol production on an industrial scale.



Aseptic Technique

Learning Objectives

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to:

  • Simulate yeast batch fermentation

  • Outline the principles of fermentation and its applications

  • Summarize the principal components of a fermentor and their function

  • Experiment with the effect of temperature, pH, gas, and agitation on fermentation

  • Analyze growth curves qualitatively to identify optimal growth parameters

Techniques in Lab

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to:

  • Aseptic Technique
  • Bioreactor or fermentor

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