Fermenters are bioreactors that offer the best growth conditions for animal cells or microorganisms and aid in the fermentation process. Stirred tank fermenters are useful for batch processing; airlift fermenters are pneumatic reactors and are suitable for aerobic cultures; and bubble column fermenters are used in the production of proteins, enzymes, and antibiotics. Fermenters made of glass or stainless steel are available in different sizes, each having a different volume capacity: small-sized fermenters 1–2 l; medium-sized 12–15 l; and large fermenters about 100,000 gallons. Fermenters are useful in the production of a broad range of products such as citric acid, lactic acid, vinegar, protease, lipase, amylase, cellulose, ethanol, glutamic acid, and streptomycin, all of which are used in the dairy, food and beverage, pulp and paper, and pharmaceutical industries, in biological wastewater treatment, and as industrial solvents.
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