This work is to investigate the on-line control of the fermentation by Arthrobacter viscosus. This species of bacteria can secrete penicillin acylase which is a key enzyme in pharmaceutical industry. The growth of more cells during the fermentation will obtain more enzyme. Both the enzyme activity and the cell growth are rather sensitive to the change of pH. Once the pH during a fermentation is not properly controlled, the decay of cells' activity will irreversibly occur. Two peristaltic pumps for supplying acidic and basic solutions, respectively, were connected for the regulation of pH. With superior ability in identification and prediction of dynamic time series, recurrent backpropagation network (RBPN), instead of conventional controllers, was used as the adaptive controller model for the fermentation with dynamic characteristics. Based on a 1-3-1 BPN, a corresponding 4-4-1 RBPN was determined. The deviation of the pH measured at current time from the set point of 7.0, denoted as Δ pH(t), was chosen as the input node of the network controller. The output node of this network controller was the predicted flow rate of the peristaltic pump for next control time interval. Such a model was operated by two phases. During the first phase, the network was set as the process model and trained by a fixed set of on-line acquired data. During the second phase, the network was stopped learning and switched to become a predictor, the predicted control action was hence obtained. The optimum sampling time was determined experimentally. To enhance the effective computation of this network, the number of training data was limited. A moving-window type of supplying training data to the network was applied for the on-line learning. The window size was also determined for each learning. With properly chosen network parameters as well as operation conditions, pH of the fermentation was thus well controlled by the RBPN controller.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology