Estimation of the volumetric oxygen tranfer coefficient (KLa) from the gas balance and using a neural network technique
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This paper reports on the use of the gas balance and dynamic methods to obtain an estimate of the volumetric oxygen transfer coefficient (kLa) in a conventional reactor during the growth phase of the microorganism Cephalosporium acremonium. A new way of calculating kLa by the dynamic method employing an electrode with a slow response, is proposed. The calculated values of kLa were used in the training of a feedforward neural network, for which the inputs were the parameter measurements of the related variables. The neural network technique proved effective, predicting values of kLa accurately from input data not used during the training phase. In contrast, the gas balance method was shown to be less useful. This could be attributed to the poor data obtained with the apparatus used to measure the oxygen in the exhaust gas, explained by the low rate of oxygen consumption by the microorganism.