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Biotechnol Bioeng. 1984 Feb;26(2):174-87.

Equations and calculations for fermentations of butyric acid bacteria.

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Department of Chemical Engineering, Rice University, P.O. Box 1892, Houston, Texas 77251, USA.


A stoichiometric equation has been derived which describes the interrelations among the various products and biomass in fermentations of butyric acid bacteria. The derivation of the equation is based on an assumed ATP yield, two biological regularities, and the biochemistry of product formation of the fermentations. The equation obeys the constraints imposed on growth and product formation by thermodynamics and the biochemical topology. The validity of the equation is tested using a variety of fermentation data from the literature. The uses, improvements, limitations, and extensions of the equation are also discussed in detail. For example, the fermentation equation is used to calculate the maximal possible yields of the main fermentation products.


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