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Application of material and energy balances in the interpretation of intermediate product build-up in batch growth of Pseudomonas aeruginosa on n-hexadecane

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This work is concerned with the application of material and energy balances in an attempt to understand the phenomenon of product build-up when Pseudomonas aeruginosa is grown on n-hexadecane in a batch fermentor. It is shown that the organism accumulates a polyactide, called poly-B-hydroxybutyrate (PHB) during early stages of growth and metabolizes it at later stages of growth. This explains the low carbon and available electron balances which have been observed.

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d :

Moles of carbon dioxide per quantity of organic substrate containing one g atom carbon, g mole/g atom carbon

m e :

Rate of organic substrate consumption for maintenance, g equiv. of available electrons/g equiv. of available electrons in biomass (h)

\(Q_{{\text{CO}}_{\text{2}} }\) :

Specific rate of evolution of carbon dioxide, g moles/g dry wt (h)

\(Q_{{\text{O}}_{\text{2}} }\) :

Specific rate of oxygen consumption, g mole/g dry wt (h)

s :

Organic substrate concentration, g/liter

t :

Time (h)

x :

Biomass concentration, g/liter

y c :

Biomass carbon yield (fraction of organic substrate carbon in biomass), dimensionless

γ b :

Reductance degree of biomass, equivalents of available electrons per g atom carbon

γ s :

Reductance degree of substrate, equivalents of available electrons per g atom carbon


Fraction of energy in organic substrate which is evolved as heat, dimensionless


Fraction of energy in organic substrate which is coverted to biomass or biomass energetic yield, dimensionless


Specific growth rate, h-1

σ b :

Weight fraction carbon in biomass, dimensionless

σ s :

Weight fraction carbon in substrate, dimensionless


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Layokun, S.K., Solomon, B.O. & Fatile, I.A. Application of material and energy balances in the interpretation of intermediate product build-up in batch growth of Pseudomonas aeruginosa on n-hexadecane. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 22, 255–258 (1985).

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  • Pseudomonas
  • Energy Balance
  • Pseudomonas Aeruginosa
  • Intermediate Product
  • Electron Balance