Modelling metabolic activity in real-time

Biological processes are due to their inherent complexity and variability, notoriously difficult to model and predict. This entails the need for continuous measurements of the process. However, physical sensors are often expensive, unreliable or unpractical to utilize due to many different factors such as restrained place, demands for sterile conditions, or simply due to the fact that the desired property cannot be measured by an on-line sensor.

The concept of virtual sensors poses a viable solution to circumvent such limitations. We initiated the project in collaboration with Danish Technological Institute and it was funded by the Innovation Fund. We proved that is was possible to obtain an estimate of metabolic activity and actual amount of biomass from mathematical models of heat development and respiration. The models are solved in real-time based on various simple sensors placed in the production facility. From this, it becomes possible to estimate the continues emissions of greenhouse gasses, feed conversion and optimal production conditions. We are currently deploying this solution at ENORM Biofactory.