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Power Equipment

Air compressor and fermentation process in the pharma industry

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11 May, 2020

Fermentation is a critical and complex process in pharmaceutical industry to produce a wide range of pharmaceutical products. Normally there are two types of fermentation processes;

  1. Anaerobic fermentation takes place in the absence of oxygen, and
  2. Aerobic fermentation needs oxygen, supplied via blower and compressor systems, to yield micro-organisms and produce the desired product.

In this blog, our compressed air experts share the guidelines for right aeration equipment in fermentation process for reliable plant production.

An overlooked consideration in aeration systems is the choice of compressor system. The inefficient compressed air system can lead to many problems in the fermentation applications e.g.

  • Pressure drop
  • Flow 
  • High compressor noise
  • High maintenance time and cost
  • Power losses

Features for reliable operation

The compressor equipment should have following features to meet fermentation process requirements.

Equipment reliability: We recommend having aeration equipment dedicated to the fermentation process and sized properly for process needs. It is highly recommended to have class-0 certified compressor considering the criticality of the fermentation process. The class 0 oil-free compressor ensures 100% oil-free air for the application thus avoids any contamination in the product.

The rotary positive displacement machines are much better in the aspects of reliability, efficiency, and noise free operation in the long run. You may use low pressure compressors which are designed to use at 1.0 bar(g) – 3.5 bar(g) pressure range for the optimal efficiency of the process.

Energy efficiency: Our experts recommend the gear driven, direct coupling driven compressor units for the energy efficiency. These compressor units avoid power loss against traditional belt transmissions. A single-stage equipment designed for the lower operating pressures of fermentation tanks can reduce operating costs. VFD or VSD equipment further improves this efficiency to accommodate variable oxygen demands at various stages of fermentation.

Controllability: The air compressors with advanced microprocessor can help in monitoring the critical parameters of the compressor. You can also view these parameters remotely for better control on compressor and thus, high up-time. With one of our innovative technology - SMARTLink, you can remote monitoring your compressors at all times, even from a mobile device. Smartlink gives full insights on compressor performance to make smarter and informed decisions. 

Conclusion

In summary, fermentation is a critical process for producing pharmaceuticals product. Hence, it is important that right compressor equipment with proper system layout & control scheme should be chosen for smooth, reliable plant production at the lowest possible operational cost.