Synthesis-gas fermentations have typically been gas-to-liquid mass-transfer-limited due to low solubilities of the gaseous substrates. A potential method to enhance mass-transfer rates is to sparge with microbubble dispersions. Mass-transfer coefficients for microbubble dispersions were measured in a bubble column. Oxygen microbubbles were formed in a dilute Tween 20 solution using a spinning disk apparatus. Axial dispersion coefficients measured for the bubble column ranged from 1.5 to 7.2 cm2/s and were essentially independent of flow rate. A laser-diffraction technique was used to determine the interfacial area per unit gas volume, a. The mass-transfer coefficient, KL, was determined by fitting a plug-flow model to the experimental, steady-state, liquid-phase oxygen-concentration profile. The KL values ranged from 2.9 × 10−5 to 2.2 × 10−4 m/s. Volumetric mass-transfer coefficients, KLa, for microbubbles with an average initial diameter of 60 μm ranged from 200 to 1800 h−1. Enhancement of mass transfer using microbubbles was demonstrated for a synthesis-gas fermentation. Butyribacterium methylotrophicum was grown in a continuous, stirred-tank reactor using a tangential filter for total cell recycle. The fermentation KLa values were 14 h−1 for conventional gas sparging through a stainless steel frit and 91 h−1 for microbubble sparging. The Power number of the microbubble generator was determined to be 0.036. Using this value, an incremental power-to-volume ratio to produce microbubbles for a B. methylotrophicum fermentation was estimated to be 0.01 kW/m3 of fermentation capacity.
If you can't find a tool you're looking for, please click the link at the top of the page to "Go to old article view". Alternatively, view our Knowledge Base articles for additional help. Your feedback is important to us, so please let us know if you have comments or ideas for improvement.