Hint: Bioreactors are the closed system in which the microorganisms act on the substrate and produce biologically important products. An optimum condition of temperature, pH, substrate, oxygen is required for microbiological reaction to take place.
In a bioreactor, aerobic or anaerobic digestion of substrate takes place under a closed and controlled environment. The use of bioreactors is being harnessed in the production of various biologically important molecules like alcohol, citric acid, insulin, antibodies etc.
Reaction in a bioreactor- The aerobic and anaerobic bacteria act on the biological substrates, waste both household and industrial and help in the fermentation yielding useful products. For example Aspergillus niger act on the molasses or starch to produce citric acid. This citric acid is essential both for pharmaceutical and industrial use. Similarly, methanogens act anaerobically on the waste and produce biogas which is used as a fuel.
Significance of bioreactor-
1.A bioreactor can produce a large volume of the desired product.
2.It helps in maintaining the suitable conditions both physical and chemical which are essential for biological reactions to take place properly.
3.The recovery of the finished product is easy and simple.
4.It is able to produce the molecular substances both in laboratory scale as well as industrial scale
Note: The different types of bioreactors produce different types of the desired product. Certain uses of bioreactors are-
1. In the food industry- it is used in the production of beer, vinegar, food preservatives, flavouring agents, bread etc.
2. In cosmetics several cosmetics are produced in the photo bioreactors.
3. In Medicines- Bioreactor helps in producing, vaccines, drugs and hormones like insulin, recombinant proteins etc.