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Help with Ammonia Gas/Ammonium Hydroxide in Fermentation

Unigene Laboratories unigeneb at bc.cybernex.net
Tue Sep 24 12:33:18 EST 1996

Hello, I have some questions about using ammonia gas as a combination 
nitrogen source, and pH adjustment in a bacterial fermentation on a 
fairly large (1000 L) scale;

1. What arrangement works best to yield a high enough mass transfer rate 
such that the gas transfers to the media as opposed to passing through 
and entering the gas phase ? Through the sparger ?  Do we need a 
different type of sparger ?

2. Are there any safety concerns about using ammonia in conjunction with 
oxygen gas and compressed air ?

3. As an alternative, ammonium hydroxide liquid (15-30%) could be used.  
Does anyone have any information on the safe use of this ?  Particularly, 
does anyone have any information on secondary containment for fairly 
large volumes of ammonium hydroxide (80 L) ? 

Any help or references would be appreciated.

Thank You

Bruce Stevens
Senior Production Associate
Unigene Laboratories, Inc.
unigeneb at bc.cybernex.net 

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