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Accurate level measurement in complex conditions

Reliable technologies adapted to challenging bioreactor conditions

Level measurement in bioreactors is one of the most important parameters for proper process automation. The liquid level has to be monitored and headspace controlled. The foam built up by aeration and stirring should not penetrate the venting line and block the filters. Moreover, the reactor size, temperature shocks (due to CIP-SIP phases) and changing liquid density are important aspects to consider when selecting the appropriate device or measurement principle.

Various technologies for level measurement

Level measurement in bioreactor in a life sciences industry context ©Endress+Hauser

In advanced fermenter applications, radar, guided wave radar or hydrostatic measurements are most common.

However, different parameters must be taken into consideration as they directly influence the technology to select for level measurement:

  • Size of vessels

  • Temperature

  • Stirring speed

  • Presence or absence of foam

We usually recommend guided wave radar for small vessels, and hydrostatic measurement with fast temperature compensation for larger ones.

Multiple parameters to consider for proper engineering

Level measurement during fermentation in a bioreactor ©Endress+Hauser
  • Tank size and shape

  • Agitator location, design and speed

  • Drainability and cleanability

  • Robustness of sensor

  • Pipe and process connections

  • Temperature and pressure shocks

  • Spray ball design and operations conditions

  • Media density or viscosity

Processes

Applications

Measuring points

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