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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 8 Issue 6 (2003) pp 371-374

Teaching Chemometrics Using a Bioprocess: Systematic Optimization of Procedures

Gabriela Capello, Héctor C. Goicoechea,*,§ Hilario F. Miglietta, and Víctor E. Mantovani*

Cátedra de Química Analítica I, Cátedra de Fisicoquímica, Facultad de Bioquímica y Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Nacional del Litoral, Ciudad Universitaria, Santa Fe S3000 CC. 242, Argentina, and the §Department of Chemistry, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND 58105-5516,
Received July 2, 2003. Accepted August 12, 2003.

Published online: 10 September 2003

Abstract. An experiment using a simple fermentation process was carried out by biotechnology undergraduate students. The experiment offers the possibility of learning about both chemometrics and fermentative processes. Factors having significant impact on the total organic-acid production are estimated and optimized in a working period of about two weeks. Organic acids are produced by Kombucha, a combination of a yeast (Schizosaccharomyces pombe) and a bacteria (Acetobacter xylimun), in a culture formed by an infusion of black commercial tea and glucose. The most important factors (glucose concentration and tea mass in the initial culture) are selected by applying techniques of experimental design and statistical analysis, and the application of response-surface methods allows students to gain insight into the very best values of the selected factors for the organic-acid production. Special chemometric software is used in data design and processing.

Key Words:  Laboratories and Demonstrations; general chemistry; biotechnology

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Issue date: December 1, 2003

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