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Mixing and mass transfer in a pilot scale U‐loop bioreactor

ABSTRACT

A system capable of handling a large volumetric gas fraction while providing a high gas to liquid mass transfer is a necessity if the metanotrophic bacterium Methylococcus capsulatus is to be used in single cell protein (SCP) production. In this study, mixing time and mass transfer coefficients were determined in a 0.15 m3 forced flow U‐loop fermenter of a novel construction. The effect on the impeller drawn power when a gas was introduced into the system was also studied. Mixing time decreased and mass transfer increased with increasing volumetric liquid flow rate and specific power input. This happened also for a large volume fraction of the gas, which was shown to have only minor effect on the power drawn from the pump impeller. Very large mass transfer coefficients, considerably higher than those obtainable in an STR and previous tubular loop reactors, could be achieved in the U‐loop fermenter equipped with static mixers at modest volumetric liquid and gas flow rates. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2016;9999: 1–11. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Mixing time and mass transfer coefficients considerably higher than those obtainable in an STR and previous tubular loop reactors were determined in a forced flow U‐loop fermenter of a novel construction. The system also proved capable of handling a large volumetric gas fraction, which was shown to have only minor effect on the power drawn from the pump impeller.

Authors:   Leander A.H. Petersen, John Villadsen, Sten B. Jørgensen, Krist V. Gernaey
Journal:   Biotechnology and Bioengineering
Year:   2016
Pages:   n/a
DOI:   10.1002/bit.26084
Publication date:   02-Sep-2016
Facts, background information, dossiers
  • Methylococcus capsulatus
  • gas flow
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