• structured model;
  • bioreactor;
  • dynamic;
  • transport;
  • simulation


Modeling the transient behavior of continuous culture is of primary importance for the scale-up of biological processes. Spatial heterogeneities increase with the reactor size and micro-organisms have to cope with a fluctuating environment along their trajectories within the bioreactor. In this article, a structured model for bioreactions expressed in terms of biological extensive variables is proposed. A biological variable is introduced to calculate the growth rate of the population. The value is updated on the basis of the difference between the composition in the liquid and biotic phase. The structured model is able to predict the transient behavior of different continuous cultures subject to various drastic perturbations. This performance is obtained with a minimum increase in the standard unstructured model complexity (one additional time constant). In the final part, the consequences of decoupling the growth rate from the substrate uptake rate are discussed. © 2009 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 2009