• Dissolved oxygen sensor;
  • kLa;
  • Oxygen transfer;
  • Sulfite method;
  • Ultra yield flask


The dissolved oxygen concentration is a crucial parameter in aerobic bioprocesses due to the low solubility of oxygen in water. The present study describes a new method for determining the oxygen transfer rate (OTR) in shaken-culture systems based on the sodium sulfite method in combination with an electrochemical oxygen sensor. The method replaces the laborious titration of the remaining sulfite by an on-line detection of the end point of the reaction. This method is a two-step procedure that can be applied in arbitrary flasks that do not allow the insertion of electrodes. The method does not therefore depend on the type of vessel in which the OTR is detected. The concept is demonstrated by determination of the OTR for standard baffled 1-L shake flasks and for opaque Ultra Yield™ flasks. Under typical shaking conditions, kLa values in the standard baffled flasks reached values up to 220 h-1, whereas the kLa values of the Ultra Yield flasks were significantly higher (up to 422 h-1).