FURI | Fall 2022

Heat Transfer Modeling of Solid-State Fermentation Bioreactors to Produce Medicine in Space Habitats

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This project seeks to determine the most optimal design for growing penicillin through solid-state fermentation (SSF) bioreactors. SSF is a promising method used to grow fungi, which can produce antibiotics like penicillin. Compared to other methods, SSF results in higher yields of penicillin in less time and requires fewer resources — which is ideal in resource-sensitive environments such as spacecraft on long-term exploration missions. The heat transfer of various SSF bioreactors were modeled to determine which design resulted in the most optimal regulation of heat through forced aeration and agitation.

Student researcher

Era Joy Padilla Agus

Biomedical engineering

Hometown: Quezon City, National Capital Region, Philippines

Graduation date: Spring 2024