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We want to have a general purpose bioreactor in our lab. As bioreactors are expensive and hard to obtain, we are going to build one ourselves. Fermentation is a hot topic, and besides being a good educational tool in microbiology, it will also be a good startup project for our lab.

Design #1

The idea is to use a premade glass form ikea, where the lid can be easily replaced. The Korken Jar is cheap, easily obtainable, and comes in different sizes. If the lid is replaced with an adaptor that can accept sensors and multiple tubes for in-/outfeed of growth medium, and if the whole assembly is put on a heater/magnetic stirrer, we will be able to grow several types of yeast and bacteria.


A logging system will give insight into the growth processes. At least the following parameters should be monitored.

  • Temperature
  • O2
  • CO2
  • pH

Adaptor lid

The Korken Jar lid should be replaced with something that can accept all the connections we want. The simplest solution is to 3D-print something that has the same configuration as the original lid, but instead of having a flat top, it should have an enlarged area for mounting sensors and tubes. The proposition is to have a cube on top.


Discussed ideas:

  • In the BioBarakken:Rethink_Bacteria project we are drawing with pigment rich bacteria, it would be a colorful experience to grow these.
  • A local coffee entrepreneur has proposed a project; fermenting coffee beans grown at lower altitudes, to make them competitive (taste) to higher grown varieties.

Brainstorm (please submit any ideas):

  • H2-generator (or any other unstable metabolic byproduct)
  • Classical fermentation: Beer/Yogurt