BOD Incubator: Definition, Principle, Components, Procedure, Application.

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BOD Incubator also known as Biological Oxygen Demand incubator. In microbiology laboratories, it is broadly used for cell culture and fungal growth, BOD test, fermentation, crop and physiology, and various pharmaceutical tests etc. 

BOD Incubator is additionally recognized as a low-temperature incubator or refrigerated incubator because it produces a temperature limit between 5°C to 60°C or including cooling and heating capacities under one unit.

BOD incubator Definition

  • It is a special type of incubator which is used to generate an insular environment with a constant temperature of 20 degrees centigrade. Many industries use this incubator to create such environments.
  • Some industries use this to check the optimum BOD level in a specific temperature for their products.
  • In laboratories BOD incubator also used to study the germination, insects, and culturing of bacteria.
  • It is also known as biological oxygen demand or biochemical oxygen demand. In BOD incubator oxygen depletion is occurs when microbes are started to consume oxygen.
  • They use oxygen as an electron receptor. When microbes intake organic material it provides them energy to survive and multiply. Similarly, the oxidation method is proceeding without the assistance of the microorganisms. 
  • This whole thing is estimated by the COD method i.e. chemical oxygen demand.

BOD incubator Principle

  • Power is supplied by channels MCB. Temperature is fixed within a digital PID temperature controller, normally at 20°C. 
  • The machine is kept working for 5 days. The cooling system starts only after fixing the temperature.
  • An Axial fan distributes air inside the container. The temperature sensor senses the prevailing temperature and provides data to the PID controller, which furthermore grips the set heat constant till the aspired time.

Application of BOD incubators

  • Many industries use BOD incubators such as pharmaceutical, agriculture, beverages and research laboratories.
  • In manufacturers, it is employed in waste processing plants to define the performance of the treatment system.
  • BOD incubator is employed in liquors to distinguish the nourishment in intended working situations. 
  • It is employed in the farming industry to define the germination of anaerobic bacteria.

Difference between Incubator and BOD Incubator

  • The primary discrepancy between an incubator and BOD incubator is temperature. 
  • A normal incubator has just heating options and is normally performed at 37°C.
  • Whereas a BOD incubator also recognized as a refrigerator incubator or cooling incubator. It holds both cooling and heating options and normally performed at low temperatures like 10°C and 21°C.

Components of BOD Incubator

The BOD Incubator contain these following components;



  • The temperature range of a BOD incubator is 5°C to 60°C.
  • It contains a digital PID controller supported by a PT100 sensor to provide the temperature accurately and uniformly.
  •  Temperature correctness of a BOD incubator is ± 0.5°C and uniformity remains ± 1°C.


  • It has a fluorescent or LED light, which is door operated.
  • It also contains 3 tube lights on the door with a digital cyclic timer. It controls the illumination 24×7 weekly.


  • It contains an over temperature and over current protection and temperature low and high limit buzzer alert for safety.


  • It has a CFC free refrigeration system for cooling temperature under BOD Incubator.


  • It contains ISI mark U-shaped tubular air heaters which help in heating.


  • It contains 2 to 5 removable trays which are made of steel wire mesh cable.
  • These are removable for cleaning purposes and height-adjustable.

Air circulation

  • It contains axial fans or a motorized blower system.
  • These axial fans help in the uniform circulation of air within the incubator.


  • It is a double-walled incubator consist of exterior and interior walls.
  • The exterior wall is consists of thick mild steel and powder coated.
  • The interior wall is consists of stainless steel. 
  • The space within certain two walls is loaded with PUF insulation.


  • It contains double doors such as the Outer door and inner door.
  • The outer door is soild and has a mechanical door lock and key whereas the inner door is consists of glass to view the samples. 

BOD incubator Labeled Diagram

BOD Incubator Labeled Diagram
BOD Incubator Labeled Diagram
  1. Exterior
  2. Inner chamber
  3. Toughened glass window
  4. Air circulation fan
  5. Removable tray
  6. Temperature sensor
  7. Door hinges
  8. Door handle with lock & key
  9. PID temperature controller
  10. Analog ampere meter
  11. Pilot lamp
  12. Safety thermostat
  13. On/Off MCB
  14. Refrigeration system
  15. Power cord
  16. Caster wheels
  17. Solid door
  18. Heater

Operating Procedure of BOD Incubator

  1. Before run a BOD incubator make sure the incubator is connected with the power supply.
  2. After that turn on the main switch on the mainboard then turn on the switch on the cabinet.
  3. After that set the desired temperature on the controller by pressing the set knob and soft key.
  4. Control the temperature every day as by the following procedure.
  5. Record the temperature which is displayed on the controller.
  6. Monitor the temperature displayed on the digital screen. The temperature should not deviate by 2 degrees centigrade.


  • Always disconnect the BOD incubator from the socket when it is not in use.
  • To avoid downtime and maintain the working condition of the incubator periodic servicing is important.
  • Before run a BOD incubator read the instruction manual carefully and don’t overuse it.
  • During cleaning the incubator make sure the incubator is disconnected from the power supply.
  • Clean the BOD incubator regularly to maintain its working performance.
  • Monitor the temperature changes in the BOD incubator on monthly basis. 

Advantages of BOD Incubator

A BOD incubator, or biological oxygen demand incubator, is a specialized piece of laboratory equipment used to measure the amount of oxygen used by microorganisms during the process of breaking down organic matter. It is commonly used in wastewater treatment plants and environmental laboratories to assess the quality of water and the efficiency of treatment processes.

There are several advantages of using a BOD incubator:

  1. It provides an accurate measure of the amount of oxygen consumed by microorganisms, which is an important indicator of the level of organic matter in water.
  2. It allows for the continuous monitoring of oxygen consumption over a period of time, allowing for more accurate results.
  3. It is a reliable and reproducible method for measuring BOD, with results that are consistent with standard laboratory procedures.
  4. It is easy to use and requires minimal training.
  5. It is suitable for use in a variety of settings, including wastewater treatment plants, environmental laboratories, and research facilities.

Overall, the BOD incubator is a useful tool for assessing the quality of water and the efficiency of treatment processes, and is widely used in a variety of settings.

Disadvantages of BOD Incubator

There are a few potential disadvantages of using a BOD incubator:

  1. It requires a stable power source, as any power outages or fluctuations can affect the accuracy of the results.
  2. It requires careful maintenance and calibration to ensure accurate results.
  3. It may be expensive to purchase and operate, especially for smaller laboratories or organizations.
  4. It requires a controlled environment to function properly, which may not be possible in all settings.
  5. It can be time-consuming to perform, as samples must be incubated for a period of time before results can be obtained.
  6. It may not be suitable for measuring the BOD of very high or very low concentrations of organic matter, as it has a limited range of sensitivity.

Overall, while the BOD incubator is a useful tool for assessing the quality of water and the efficiency of treatment processes, it may not be suitable for all situations and requires careful handling and maintenance to ensure accurate results.


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