Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Prior to building any fermentation facilities especially in the case of producing new fermentation products, upgrading or even transforming the existing fermentation facilities to produce other fermentation products, it is important not only to carry out in depth studies before committing to the project. This is important not only in cutting the risks but to ensure that the project will be successful.
One of the requirements at this stage is to produce the fermentation process flow chart. The flow chart will show the relationships between all the essential components right from upstream to downstream activities, The process flow chart is like a road map or the architectural blue print of all the units involved. However such flow charts are not that detailed enough to include in detail minor components or parts of the systems. Process flow diagrams for multiple units do not include detailed information and are known as the schematic flow diagrams or block flow diagrams.
The essence of the flow chart at the moment is that it is sufficient enough to allow discussions between various parties involved in the project and all those involved before any commitment is made
Producing a process flow chart require a lot of collaboration between many members of the team. Each member will be doing something which will be further worked upon by other members of the group. There will be a lot of research in literature, further experiments to carry out, following rules of the thumb and various experiences derived from other projects. All this will be incorporated into the input of the process flow chart.
It will need the input of various professionals from microbiologists, biochemists, chemists, engineers , economists and even computer experts
Well, the journey of a thousand miles has to start somewhere.
The first step usually involves understanding the biochemical or microbiological reactions involved. Strong emphasis will be in the laboratory work to acquire sufficient data on the process. At this stage effect of various parameters, type of substrates used, operating conditions, scaling up and stoichiometry studies have to be carried out.
The various unit processes involved from upstream to downstream have to be identified and positioned.These data could easily be obtained from various sources. The problem is for each unit process proposed detailed optimum conditions of the operation of the unit processes must be achieved
The flow from upstream to downstream must be smooth and no bottle necks or under utilization is created

Type rest of the post here.

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