The NHB SUHF™ and SUHB™ designs encompass many unique characteristics compared to current designs in the industry. Our evolutionary technology includes the following key features:
Cell growth, cell density, and productivity for microbial fermentations are specifically linked to the ability to operate at a positive pressure. Increased operating pressure also increases the driving force needed for successful oxygen mass transfer. The Bag Retention Vessel (BRV) is uniquely designed to fully encapsulate the bag which has PE heat sealed bag ports at all BRV openings along with support faceplates to prevent the bag bulging under pressure. The inlet and outlet ports and fittings are all designed to withstand nominal 5 psig internal pressure. All external tubes and components are also specifically selected with pressurization in mind.
2. low profile
With a horizontal form factor for the BRV, all sizes in the family from 50L to 3000L working volume including complete skidded system will fit into clean rooms having 9 ft high ceilings. This presents a case whereby expensive and time consuming top hat ceiling infrastructures are not required. Additionally, access for installation and removal of the bag is from the swing open dished head at the far end of the vessel (opposite the instrumentation and other ports. Each module has a top "hand" hole to assist in positioning the bag, particularly in the case of a triple module unit.
The exclusive modular scaling out feature of the SUHF makes it truly flexibile for meeting a variety of process train operating volume needs. And the modules can quickly be positioned by attaching to the previous module and moving the dished head to the end position. All modules have fully adjustable castors to permit perfect alignment before the module flanges are joined together. The bag size and number of agitators is then a function of the number of modules that are connected together.
The ability of the SUHF to provide exact scalability for performance matching at both small and large scale is a function of the multiple agitators that are used when modular expansion occurs. The key to duplicating performance from 50L to 3000L is to keep the power density (watts / liter) at about the same value and this is accomplished by adding agitators every time the BRV volume is increased by adding a module. Thus the power density can be easily scaled in the range of 5 to 8 watts / liter for excellent microbial growth kinetics and product formation rates.
Mix and Match the various sizes with or without expansion modules to obtain a production train that suits your bioprocess needs. Most microbial fermentations use a 8 to 1 or 10 to 1 seed ratio, thus the 50L seed fermentor (single module) could be followed by a 500L seed fermentor (dual module) followed by two (2) 3000L production fermentors (triple module) with each one operating at working volume of 2500L. This would provide 5000L of fermentation broth to harvest for the next clarification processing step. Or expand the seed ratio from the 500L to 12:1 and inoculate both 3000L units at full volume for a total production volume of 6000L.
Realizing the importance of rapid deployment, the SUHF system and expansion modules are all equipped with lockable and leveling castors for complete mobility. This allows modules not in use to be stored away from the main processing suite. Modules may be rolled into the clean room as needed to increase operating volumes for a given batch size. The leveling feature permits the module to be exactly aligned with the adjacent module before securing the module connecting clamp. Each time a module is added, the swing open dished head at the end will be moved to the new position at the opening of the newly added module and clamped in place. The only items that will require action when adding a mobile module is to connect in the additional cooling circuit lines using the provided quick connects as well as plugging in the agitator drive and the weight signal into the side connections on the electrical control I/O cabinet.