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The Influence of External Airlift Loop Bioreactor Configuration on Bioreactor Hydrodynamics

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  2007 ASAE Annual Meeting  077069.(doi:10.13031/2013.23555)
Authors:   Samuel T Jones, Theodore J Heindel
Keywords:   Bioreactor, Downcomer, External Airlift Loop Reactor, Gas Holdup, Hydrodynamics, Riser, Superficial Liquid Velocity

Airlift bioreactors have the potential of being used in many fermentation processes, and understanding their hydrodynamics is key to their use. To this end, gas holdup (i.e., volumetric gas fraction) and superficial liquid velocity in the downcomer and riser are studied in an external loop airlift bioreactor with an area ratio of 1:16. Two downcomer configurations are investigated consisting of the downcomer open or closed to the atmosphere. Experiments for these two configurations are carried out, over a range of superficial gas velocities from UG = 0.5 to 20 cm/s, using three aeration plates with open area ratios of 0.62, 0.99 and 2.22%. These results are compared to bubble column bioreactors and external loop airlift bioreactors with larger area ratios for similar operating conditions.

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