Bioreactor Vs Fermenter : What’s The Difference

Bioreactors and fermenters are often considered to be the same tool, both of them are related to the breeding and growth process of microorganisms. However, in fact, these two tools have several different things or uses. Compared the fermenters, bioreactors have a larger scope of work processes with wider outputs. The following below explains the differences between these two tools:

What is a Bioreactor?

Bioreactor is a tool that is able to provide an ideal environment for organisms, i.e. animal cells like mammals or insects to be able to reproduce in a focused and controlled manner. Bioreactors are generally found in the form of cylinders, ranging in size from liters to meters, and are made of stainless steel. The bioreactor works by continuously doing the stirring process, thus creating a homogeneous environment around it. The process contained in the bioreactor can be either aerobic or anaerobic. Bioreactors are often used to support the growth of animal cells, which are often used to produce pharmaceutical products, antibodies, and vaccines.

What is a Fermenter?

Unlike bioreactors that can use animal cells like mammals or insects, fermenters can only use fungal or bacterial cells to carry out the fermentation process. The fermenter is a small part of the bioreactor. The Fermenters are generally found in the form of cylinders too, but fermenters are smaller than bioreactors which only have a range size volume in liters.

The Difference Between Bioreactor and Fermenter

  1. The bioreactor focuses on biological processes that are able to produce an ideal environment for organisms to be able to reproduce in a focused and controlled manner. The bioreactor has a large and completed process until the end. While the fermented is more focused on medium-scale biological processes, because it only uses fungal and bacterial cells in the process. The fermenter also only focused on the container or a place where the fermentation process takes place, therefore the process scale is smaller than the bioreactor.
  2. The bioreactor is capable of providing and facilitating all kinds of biochemical reactions, while the fermented is only a fermentation.
  3. The bioreactor could use various types of substrates, while the types of substrates in the fermenter are only limited to glucose / glucose-containing compounds.
  4. The bioreactors can use mammalian or insect cell populations, while fermenters use fungal or bacterial cell populations.
  5. The process contained in the bioreactor can be either aerobic or anaerobic, while the fermenter can only be anaerobic.
  6. The range size of the bioreactor starts from liters to meters, while the fermented only reaches about 2 liters.
  7. The bioreactor has a multiplication time of about 24 hours, while the fermentation only takes 20 minutes.
  8. The bioreactor can produce both cell mass and secondary metabolites, while the fermenter can only produce primary metabolites.
  9. The bioreactor can be used in the production process of pharmaceutical products, antibodies, and vaccines, while fermenter can be used in the production of lactic acid or ethanol.
  10. The use of bioreactors generally uses microorganisms that can infect a virus, while fermenters do not.

So, that's some information regarding the differences between these two tools, you can see where both have very prominent differences. However, although the two have many differences, there are still some similarities between the two. Like the shape of the tool which is both cylindrical and made of stainless steel, as well as the operating system of the tool which is both using a closed operating system, etc.

The need and requirement for these two tools is very important in industrial processes, especially in the large-scale industries. If you need bioreactors and fermenters for your industrial needs, contact Hartech Indonesia at

Our bioreactors and fermenters are products from our trustworthy brand partners that are already recognized internationally. The systems in our bioreactors and fermenters product are fully integrate with software and advanced sensor technology, which will surely help maximize the outputs and save your time and money.

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