Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

What's The Backscatter Of Your Beer? Ultrasound Technology Tracks Microbial Growth In Fermentations

Date:
July 5, 2007
Source:
DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Summary:
An acoustic technology developed at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory eliminates the need for laborious and costly sampling of slurries in large containers. Fermentation-based industries, such as beer and pharmaceuticals, could benefit from the technology's noninvasive, continuous and objective "listening" technique in tracking microbial growth through the different process phases. The lab's patented technique is novel in its fusion of information extracted from both acoustic backscatter and transit measurements, including velocity, amplitude and frequency data.

The technology can be integrated with a glass fermentor such as this one, allowing a non-invasive online monitoring capability.
Credit: Image courtesy of DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

An acoustic technology developed at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory eliminates the need for laborious and costly sampling of slurries in large containers. Fermentation-based industries, such as beer and pharmaceuticals, could benefit from the technology's non-invasive, continuous and objective "listening" technique in tracking microbial growth through the different process phases.

Related Articles


A team of researchers at PNNL can track the size and concentration of particles within opaque slurries by attaching an acoustic-based technology to the outside of a large tank or vat, much like those used to make beer and medicinal drugs.

The lab's patented technique is novel in its fusion of information extracted from both acoustic backscatter and transit measurements, including velocity, amplitude and frequency data.

"The beauty of acoustics is that it can tell you what's going on within a mixture without having to disrupt the process by physically drawing a sample and analyzing it," said Dick Pappas, senior research scientist. "And because we can measure how fast sound travels across a vat, for instance, and the change in the signal's frequency and strength, we can also tell when a mixture has changed from what it should be, possibly heading off a negative situation. Similarly, we can tell when a mixture is brewed to perfection."

Conceptually, this acoustic technology is relatively simple. It consists of either a single transducer or paired transducers - devices that resemble ear phones and that transform electric signals into sound energy - placed on opposite sides of a container. Both the backscattered acoustic signals and the acoustic signals that transit the vessel contain useful information about the slurry. The signals from the transducers are digitized and analyzed so that an operator can immediately detect changes in the fermentation process. The technology can be automated, runs continuously unattended and can be configured to trigger process controls such as valves and switches.

The ultrasound technology is also useful for measuring cell or organism growth and population in fermentations. A typical method for characterizing fermentation slurries involves diluting and visually counting a sample at periodic intervals. But with acoustics, researchers can quickly and continuously analyze the size and population of organisms throughout the fermentation process, often helping to identify specific fermentation phases.

In addition to biological processes, this backscatter-transit acoustics methodology has been used in lab testing to characterize industrial processes and products such as paints, micro-milling, asphalt-based commercial products and sterilize packaged liquid food.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. "What's The Backscatter Of Your Beer? Ultrasound Technology Tracks Microbial Growth In Fermentations." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 July 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070628071601.htm>.
DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. (2007, July 5). What's The Backscatter Of Your Beer? Ultrasound Technology Tracks Microbial Growth In Fermentations. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070628071601.htm
DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. "What's The Backscatter Of Your Beer? Ultrasound Technology Tracks Microbial Growth In Fermentations." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070628071601.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Building Google Into Cars

Building Google Into Cars

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Google's next Android version could become the standard that'll power your vehicle's entertainment and navigation features, Reuters has learned. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
AP Review: Nikon D750 and GoPro Hero 4

AP Review: Nikon D750 and GoPro Hero 4

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) What to buy an experienced photographer or video shooter? There is some strong gear on the market from Nikon and GoPro. The AP's Ron Harris takes a closer look. (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: Better Ways to Create Jobs Than Keystone Pipeline

Obama: Better Ways to Create Jobs Than Keystone Pipeline

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) US President Barack Obama says that construction of the Keystone pipeline would have 'very little impact' on US gas prices and believes there are 'more direct ways' to create construction jobs. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins