Fast measurement of phosphates and ammonium in fermentation-like media: A feasibility study

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Real-time monitoring of bioprocesses plays a key-role in modern industries, providing new information on full-scale production, thus enabling control of the process and allowing it to run at optimal conditions while minimizing waste. Monitoring of phosphates and ammonium in fermentation processes has a twofold interest: they are important nutrients for living organisms while at the same time constituting environmental nutrient pollutants, for which unnecessary use and disposal must be avoided. In this report, the possibility of simultaneous analysis of phosphates and ammonium in fermentations was verified using spectroscopy-based methods combined with chemometrics to construct calibration models. To achieve this, the models were based on synthetic samples mimicking real fermentation media, providing a dataset where the analytes were completely uncorrelated. Different at-line techniques (mid- and near- infrared spectroscopy, MIR and NIR) were evaluated for their ability to monitor quickly both analytes, in a wide range of concentrations (10−100 mM), in three media of different complexities. Partial Least Squares (PLS) models on MIR spectroscopy gave very good results, with prediction errors lower than 5 % for both analytes in all datasets. In contrast, the results for PLS models on NIR spectroscopy were inferior (prediction errors between 3 and 26 %) for both analytes, as, in the case of phosphate, it could be demonstrated that the model was based on based on indirect predictions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNew Biotechnology
Pages (from-to)54-62
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • Chemometrics, Fermentation, Mid-Infrared spectroscopy, Near-Infrared spectroscopy, Process monitoring

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