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Development of novel on-line capillary gas chromatography-based analysis method for volatile organic compounds produced by aerobic fermentation

Lee, Hyeok-Won, Park, Jung-Ho, Lee, Hee-Suk, Kim, Chun-Suk, Lee, Jin-Gyeom, Kim, Won-kyo, Ryu, Kyoung-Hwa, Ahn, Jung-Oh, Lee, Eun-Gyo, Kim, Seon-Won, Jeon, Jong-Min, Yang, Yung-Hun, Choi, Eui-Sung, Lee, Hong-Weon
Journal of bioscience and bioengineering 2019 v.127 no.1 pp. 121-127
air, desorption, fermentation, fermenters, gas chromatography, genetically engineered microorganisms, isoprene, rubber, volatile organic compounds
Many volatile compounds, such as isoprene, a precursor used in the synthesis of natural rubber, have been produced through fermentation using genetically engineered microorganisms. Despite this biotechnological success, measuring the concentrations of volatile compounds during fermentation is difficult because of their high volatility. In current systems, off-line analytical methods usually lead to product loss, whereas on-line methods raise the production cost due to the requirement of complex devices. Here, we developed a novel on-line gas chromatography (GC)-based system for analyzing the concentration of isoprene with the aim to minimize the cost and requirement for devices as compared to current strategies. In this system, a programmable logic controller is used to combine conventional GC with a syringe pump module (SPM) directly connected to the exhaust pipe of the fermentor, and isoprene-containing samples are continuously pumped from the SPM into the GC using an air cylinder recycle stream. We showed that this novel system enables isoprene analysis during fermentation with convenient equipment and without the requirement of an expensive desorption tube. Furthermore, this system may be extended to the detection of other volatile organic compounds in fermentation or chemical processes.