Time to complete course: 48 min.

About Fermentation Virtual Lab Simulation

Fermentation technology can be used to produce valuable biological compounds in large quantities. For instance, most antibiotics are produced using fermentation technology. Desired compounds used in most antibiotics are produced in large tanks, in which fungi grows. To ensure quality production, fungi are grown under specific conditions to promote production of the desired compound.

Learn about fermentation

Fermentation can be used to produce pharmaceuticals, bioethanol, biochemicals, enzymes and many other products. Ensuring that cells have optimal conditions for production is not a trivial task. Many theories, mathematical models, and advanced laboratory and production equipment have been developed to allow and increase production. In this lab, you will set up fermentation of a second-generation bioethanol production plant that converts waste into bioethanol. Your task is to make a pilot scale experiment and develop a process for efficient bioethanol production.

Yeast inoculum and aseptic technique

Your first task is to prepare a yeast inoculum using the aseptic technique. You can practice the aseptic technique by using the Bunsen burner and making sure the media has been autoclaved in order to minimize risk of contamination. Once you have acquired a pure yeast inoculum, you can analyze a small sample under microscope observation. After that, you can perform the first fermentation.

Mathematical simulation and data analysis

Using mathematical simulation, you can change various fermentation parameters. This includes temperature, pH, stirring power, and selection between air and nitrogen. A graph will be plotted based on the selected parameters. Furthermore, a spreadsheet containing time, biomass, glucose, ethanol, oxygen and carbon dioxide amounts reflecting the specific parameters is shown. Your next task is then to analyze the output data and create a plot that shows the optimum temperature and pH for producing bioethanol. A short guide on how to use Excel is provided by clicking the “View Theory” button.

Calculate and compare

Using the downloaded data, you can perform calculations of the many outcomes including the specific growth rate of the different phases, doubling time and yield coefficient. A comparison between fermentation that is performed using 21% oxygen or no oxygen (in this case 100% nitrogen) is also done. Once you have completed the fermentation lab, you will have a deeper understanding of the production of bioethanol, common lab procedure, experiment design and analysis and organization of output data.

Will you be able to see how different parameters affect the rate of fermentation?

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Perform aerobic and anaerobic fermentation to produce second-generation bioethanol. Discover how different parameters affect the rate of fermentation.

Techniques In Lab

  • Yeast inoculation
  • Sterile microbiology technique
  • Graphing
  • Microbe identification
  • Fermentation

Learning Objectives

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

  • Understand cell growth, goals of fermentation and application to the real-world
  • Understand the function and various parts of the bioreactor and auxiliary equipment
  • Understand microbial growth kinetics with examples of batch and chemostat fermentations
  • Understand how parameters such as pH, temperature, aeration, and agitation affects fermentation
  • Perform virtual fermentations to identify optimal process conditions

Screenshots of FermentationVirtual Lab Simulation


Dr. Jette Thykær

Dr. Jette Thykær

Department of Systems Biology
Technical University of Denmark

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