Growth of yeast on n‐alkanes. I. Stochastic model

A.H.M. Verkooyen, K. Rietema

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6 Citations (Scopus)


In a system where yeast cells grow on n‐alkanes dissolved in oil drops suspended in water, the dispersed oil phase will, in most cases, be fully segregated. This means that each drop has its own history that depends on its degree of saturation with yeast cells. This degree of saturation with yeast cells is determined by a stochastic process depending on adsorption, desorption, and cell production. Although many authors mention segregation as a phenomenon likely to occur, so far this segregation has hardly been taken into account. In this paper the interaction of the population of completely segregated oil drops with the population of yeast cells, which results in growth, is described. The consequences of the model are elucidated by the discussion of some extreme cases. The batch fermentation of hydrocarbons by yeast cell is simulated by means of a Monte Carlo procedure. Adsorption, desorption, and production of yeast cells are considered as chance processes. The history of all individual drops is recorder. The influence of the chance of desorption appears to be much larger than that of the chance of adsorption (at the investigated range). Also the size of the inoculum at the start of the process appears to have a strong influence on the course of fermentation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)571-595
Number of pages25
JournalBiotechnology and Bioengineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1980


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