What needs verification before going into industrial scale?
Parameters such as temperature, pH, agitation, and aeration are fundamental and should have been optimized at a smaller scale. Pilot scale processes are an invaluable tool and act as a bridge between laboratory scale and plant scale. However, larger volumes can decrease the efficiency of mass and energy transfer, potentially impacting the productivity and effectiveness of the overall process. This allows for verification that the previous optimization is still valid and, if not, gives the opportunity to tune the variables that result in underperformance. One of the critical aspects to evaluate at the pilot scale is aeration and mixing, which can become challenging at increased volumes, resulting in non-uniform distribution of nutrients and oxygen. This can result in decreased cell growth and product formation.
Pilot scale studies can help to create conditions that mimic the production scale process through testing and refinement. Achieving these conditions can facilitate a smoother transition to industrial-scale production. Moreover, rigorous testing can minimize risk operational and financial setbacks due to unanticipated problems once in full production.
The BioXplorer, especially the BioXplorer 5000, is an excellent platform for scale-up processes. This model can operate at regular or high pressure and up to 5 L volumes. This facilitates a comprehensive understanding of critical processes that can be affected during scaling-up, such as energy and mass transfer at a larger scale. Moreover, it enables the exploration of oxygen and nutrient distribution dynamics, proving its worth as a versatile tool for optimization.