A Batch Fermentation Experiment for L-Lysine Production in the Senior Laboratory
The chemical industry is more frequently using biochemical processing for commodity, specialty, and pharmaceutical products, and as a result, chemical engineering graduates are finding increasing opportunities in biotechnology-related companies. We have created a fermentation experiment for the senior laboratory in order to expose our graduates to a complex biochemical process for the production of the amino acid L-lysine using batch fermentation. During a semester offering, six student teams conducted six fermentation experiments constituting an experiment plan designed to increase student understanding of microbial metabolism and to enhance product yield. During these trials, students observed variations in cellular growth and product yield in response to changes in two process variables, initial glucose concentration and initial growth supplement concentration (L-threonine, L-methionine, and L-leucine). From these long-term experiments (52 hours), increased L-lysine yield was observed for two of the six experiments.