ARTICLES & PAPERS
Article appearing in Bioprocess BiosystemEngineering
Beth Junker, and Walter Maciejak Fermentation and Development Operations, Merck Research Laboratories, Rahway, NJ
Feasibility of an In Situ Measurement Device for Bubble
Size and Distribution. Copyright Springer-Vertag 2007
Abstract The feasibility of in situ measurement device for bubble size and distribution was explored. A novel in situ probe measurement system, the EnviroCam®, was developed. Where possible, this probe incorporated strengths, and minimized weaknesses of historical and currently available real-time measurement methods for bubbles. The system was based on a digital, high-speed, high resolution, modular camera system, attached to a stainless steel shroud, compatible with standard Ingold ports on fermenters.
Still frames and/or video were produced, capturing bubbles passing through the notch of the shroud. An LED light source was integral with the shroud. Bubbles were analyzed using customized commercially available image analysis software and standard statistical methods. Using this system, bubble sizes were measured as a function of various operating parameters (e.g., agitation rate, aeration rate) and as a function of media properties (e.g., viscosity, antifoam, cottonseed flour, and microbial/animal cell broths) to demonstrate system performance and its limitations. For selected conditions, mean bubble size changes qualitatively compared favorably with published relationships.