The challenges in the production of bacteria at an industrial level

The industrial production of bacteria, large-scale microbiology, has acquired a fundamental role in the fertilizer industry. Microorganisms play a crucial role in the synthesis of products which has led to a significant increase in demand for industrial production processes, in which Fertinagro Biotech is a specialist. This growth faces challenges, and scalability in production presents challenges that the company’s researchers and engineers face with determination and creativity, to maintain the characteristics of the final product that they want to obtain.

One of the main challenges in industrial production is the optimization of culture media. In laboratory environments it is relatively easy to control the ideal conditions for bacterial growth, but as production is scaled, complexity increases. Variability in ingredient quality and the need to maintain precise growth medium composition make the transition to high volumes a significant challenge.

Fertinagro researchers are working on the formulation of standardized and profitable culture media that can adapt to different bacterial strains, since each strain can behave differently. The implementation of monitoring and control technologies helps to adjust conditions in real time, improving efficiency. The instruments available for this are the modification of the parameters of the bioreactors, fermentation times, gas entry, agitation, temperature, and the components used for the culture medium, among others.

Another challenge to overcome is related to temperature homogeneity, oxygen concentration, agitation and other environmental factors. Geometric scaling, which involves replicating laboratory conditions in a larger industrial environment, is difficult. Differences in mass and heat transfer, as well as complex interactions between bacteria and their environment, require careful consideration to avoid problems such as the accumulation of toxic products or the formation of cellular aggregates.

Keeping the cultures pure, so that they are not contaminated with other bacteria or fungi, is a key point in this process. To do this, it is necessary to maintain conditions of sterility, biosafety and cleanliness of all materials at all points of the process, carry out periodic quality controls and verify that the culture is pure throughout the scaling.

Fertinagro Biotech researchers and industrialists are working on developing more robust quality standards and implementing traceability technologies to ensure the safety of bacterial products throughout the supply chain. They explore innovative approaches, such as reusing by-products and implementing cleaner production processes, to address this challenge and make bacteria production more sustainable as well.

In this sense, they select additives that can be added to control production and look for alternatives that are sustainable in all aspects for industrial production, which do not modify the crop or the characteristics of the final product.

Fertinagro works on BIOSCHAMP project on industrial level trials of the solutions, trying large scale production.

Share This Post