What is the difference between batch fermentation and continuous fermentation?
Fermentation is the process of breaking down chemical components under anaerobic conditions by bacteria, fungi, and yeast. The conversion of organic molecules into gases, acids, and other metabolites is quite vital in the microorganism.
The core difference between batch fermentation and continuous fermentation is that batch fermentation is done one after the other while continuous fermentation is never stopped but run throughout for a longer period.
What is Batch Fermentation?
Batch fermentation is an industrial fermentation where products are produced and harvested in batches. The process tends to end after the production of each batch.
The process is quite easy to set up and run. The fermenter needs to be washed before the subsequent step of fermentation is taken place.
The environmental conditions are never kept constant and the nutrients are utilized at a slower rate. It is suitable for the production of biomass of Single Cell Proteins.
What is Continuous Fermentation?
Continuous fermentation is a type of industrial fermentation where the fermentation process is carried out for a longer period while adding nutrients between production and harvesting.
The fermentation process is suitable for the production of primary metabolites of the microorganisms since it is carried out in a small fermenter.
The exponential growth of microbes is maintained by providing nutrients and changes in the conditions. The process is suitable for reducing costs and increasing yields.
Comparison Table: Batch Fermentation vs Continuous Fermentation
|Basic Terms||Batch Fermentation||Continuous Fermentation|
|Type||Closed system||Open system|
|Set up||Cannot be changed from outside once fermentation has started||Can be changed from outside during fermentation process|
|Interruption||Tend to stop once the products are formed||The process cannot be stopped for the collection of products instead it runs throughout|
|Addition of Nutrients||Happen only at the beginning of the process||Tend to be added between the production and harvesting|
|Control||Less control on growth of microbes and production of desired products||Total control of growth and production|
|Environmental conditions||Not constant||Tend to be kept constant|
|Nutrients||The fermenter is utilized in a comparatively slow rate||The fermenter is utilized in a comparatively faster rate|
|Behavior of Microbes||Show lag, log and stationary phases||The exponential growth of microbes is maintained|
|Content of fermenter||Removed after fermentation for isolation of produces||Products are extracted from the overflow of fermenter but not removed|
|Washing and cleaning||The fermenter is washed and cleaned before the next process||No cleaning and washing since the process is continuous|
|Size of fermenter||Relatively larger||Relatively smaller|
|Nature||Less close to the natural environment||Quite close to the natural environment|
|Application||Widely in industrial fermentation||Limited in industrial fermentation|
|Suitability||Production of secondary metabolites||Production of primary metabolites|
|Significance||Large scale production of biomass and products||Less commonly used in large scale production of biomass and products|
|Ease of Set-Up||Quite easy to set up and run||Tend to be sophisticated to set up|
|Cost||The less initial investment required||Quite expensive investment to set up initially|
|Control methods||Easy to control||More complicated|
Core Differences between Batch and Continuous Fermentation In Point Form
- Batch fermentation is a closed system while continuous fermentation is an open system
- Batch fermentation set up is not changed from outside once fermentation starts while continuous fermentation setup is changed from outside during fermentation process
- Batch fermentation process stops once the product is formed while continuous fermentation tend not to stop for the collection of products
- Batch fermentation nutrients are added at the beginning of the process while continuous fermentation nutrients are added many times
- Batch fermentation has less control over the growth of the microbes and productions of desired products while continuous fermentation has more control on growth and production
- The environmental conditions in batch fermentation are not constant while in continuous fermentation are kept constant
- The turnover rate in batch fermentation is less while in continuous fermentation is more
- The nutrients in batch fermentation are utilized relatively at a slower rate while in continuous fermentation at a faster rate
- Content of fermenter in batch fermentation are removed for isolation of products while in continuous fermentation products are extracted from the overflow of the fermenter
- In batch fermentation, the fermenter is cleaned and washed before the next production while in continuous fermentation no washing since the process runs throughout
- The fermenter used in batch fermentation is comparatively large while in continuous fermentation is comparatively small
- Batch fermentation is less closed to the natural environment while continuous fermentation is more closed to the natural environment
- Batch fermentation is widely used in industrial fermentation while continuous fermentation is less used in industrial fermentation
- Batch fermentation is suitable for the production of secondary metabolites while continuous fermentation for primary metabolites
- Batch fermentation is common during large scale production of cell biomass and products while continuous fermentation common for small scale
- Batch fermentation is easy to set up and run while continuous fermentation is difficult to set up and run
- Batch fermentation is less suitable for the production of biomass such as single-cell protein while continuous fermentation is highly suitable for the production of SCP
- Continuous fermentation requires a lot of labor while batch fermentation require less labor
- Batch fermentation is less prone to contamination while continuous fermentation are prone to contamination
- Batch fermentation is easy to set up and quick to control while continuous fermentation is more complicated to control
- Batch fermentation require less initial investment while continuous fermentation requires a more initial investment
- Microbes in batch fermentation show lag, log, and stationary phases while in continuous fermentation show an exponential growth rate
Similarities between Batch Fermentation and Continuous Fermentation
- Both use in industrial fermentation for large scale production
- Both are used in microbial production of biomass or products
- Both operate under controlled environment
- Both have similar mechanical components of the fermenter
- Both aeration, pH, and temperature are maintained
- Both are beneficial for microorganisms use
- Both fresh media are used to provide nutrients
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Both batch and continuous fermentation are used in the production of useful products for microorganisms. Batch fermentation involves batch-wise production while continuous fermentation involves feeding nutrients and harvesting at regular intervals.