Maximizing Itaconic Acid Production through Fermentation of Aspergillus terreus in the LAMBDA MINIFOR Benchtop Bioreactor

Fermentation of Aspergillus terreus - a Filamentous Fungai in the LAMBDA MINIFOR Benchtop Bioreactor for Itaconic acid production.

Highest Itaconic Acid Yield through Aspergillus terreus Filamentous Fungal Fermentation in the LAMBDA MINIFOR Benchtop Bioreactor. 

Itaconic acid (IA) found its importance in various industrial applications, such as serving as a cross-linking agent in synthetic latex production and as a monomer for unsaturated polyester resins. Production of IA through the fermentation of Aspergillus terreus is economical however large amounts of Biomass and water are generated as waste. To overcome this, a novel method with increased IA production and decreased waste generation has to be made.

Researchers from the Research Group on Bioengineering, Membrane Technology, and Energetics at the University of Pannonia, Hungary, were engaged in enhancing IA production through continuous fermentation using the LAMBDA MINIFOR Benchtop Bioreactor. The effluent of the fermentation broth containing Itaconic acid was purified using Bipolar membrane electrodialysis (EDBM) and reintroduced the diluate from EDBM back to the Bioreactor. The continuous fermentation process lasted 547 hours.

Continuous fermentation occurred in a LAMBDA MINIFOR bioreactor with an effective volume of 1.8 L, maintaining an operating temperature of 37°C. The necessary dissolved oxygen level was attained by introducing pure oxygen gas at 0.2 VVM.

LAMBDA MINIFOR Fermenter-Bioreactor for filamentous fungal fermentation

Fig 1: The LAMBDA MINIFOR Fermenter's agitation mechanism provides optimal Aspergillus terreus clumps for Itaconic acid production. 

The LAMBDA MINIFOR Fermenter-Bioreactor played a crucial role in enhancing Itaconic Acid production. For increased production of IA, the morphology of Aspergillus terreus proved to be highly significant during fermentation. Researchers noted that clumps or loose pellets of mycelia ranging between 0.4-0.5 mm in diameter were optimal for acid production. The team also confirmed that the novel agitation mechanism of the LAMBDA MINIFOR Bioreactor provided effective mixing while maintaining the required mycelia morphology without compromising the perfect mycelia formation.

Reference: Hülber-Beyer, Éva, Nemestóthy, N., & Bélafi-Bakó, K. (2024). Case Study of Continuous Itaconic Acid Fermentation by Aspergillus terreus in a Bench-Scale Bioreactor. Hungarian Journal of Industry and Chemistry, 51(2), 57–63.

At the 96th hour, continuous operation of the fermenter commenced and continued for 23 days (547 hours). The effluent was drained through a harvest cannula extending to the bottom of the reactor vessel.

The height-adjustable cannulas of the LAMBDA MINIFOR Bioreactor facilitated maintaining a distance of above 5cm from the surface of the culture for medium refilling. The dilution rate was maintained at 0.007 h-1.

Fig 2: Illustration of morphology of Aspergillus terreus and graphical overview of Oxygen update rate (OUR), Concentration of glucose and Itaconic acid in the fermenter. Reference: Hülber-Beyer, Éva, Nemestóthy, N., & Bélafi-Bakó, K. (2024). Case Study of Continuous Itaconic Acid Fermentation by Aspergillus terreus in a Bench-Scale Bioreactor. Hungarian Journal of Industry and Chemistry51(2), 57–63.


During the Itaconic acid producing period spanning 16 days, a maximum product titer of 35 g·L-1 was successfully attained, surpassing those documented in prior continuous fermentations. The presence of oxygen and gentle agitation of the LAMBDA MINIFOR Fermenter played a role in fostering the formation of fungal clumps, which are favorable conditions for increased Itaconic acid production.


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