When oxygen enrichment is used to supplement the usual feed of sterile, heated and filtered atmospheric air, higher oxygen-consumption rates can be realized. Since the evolution of metabolic heat is proportional to the oxygen consumption, OUR can provide a good indication of heat generation, thus allowing calculation of the required cooling capacity of the target fermenter. Capacity must be large enough to remove all surplus heat generated from metabolism, agitation, and aeration in order to maintain a constant temperature.
Today, most biopharmaceutical fermentation manufacturing facilities are equipped with a fermenter exhaust-gas analyzer. Data provided by these devices can reflect cellular metabolic activities very well. Creative application of this data gives a good understanding of the metabolic state of growing/producing organisms, thereby enhancing process understanding, process optimization, and process transfer to large-scale manufacturing bioreactors.