I want to model a chemical process. I was searching in the literature to find similar works. In some of papers they say that "we proposed an unstructured model". What does it mean? What is the difference between a structured model and an unstructured model?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Is it a biological process? $\endgroup$
    – Toulousain
    Nov 7, 2017 at 15:12
  • $\begingroup$ @Toulousain Yes it is. $\endgroup$
    – Ghartal
    Nov 8, 2017 at 6:50

1 Answer 1


A model for a biological reaction, bioreactor, etc. is called unstructured when the biomass components are not diferentiated, i.e. the cells with their internal metabolites are all lumped into a single variable (commonly expressed as X). We normally use Monod kinetics to model growth in unstructured models.

In contrast, a structured model may model as different variables the cell count, their content in i.e. pyruvate, fats, ATP, etc. Using this information, they can also account for different growth phases for the cell


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