You are on page 1of 63

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA

University of the City of Manila


Intramuros, Manila

MULTIPHASE BIOREACTOR
Multiphase bioreactors include, for instance, gas-liquid-solid and gasliquid-liquid reactions. In many important cases, reactions between gases

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

and liquids occur in the presence of a porous solid catalyst. The reaction
typically occurs at a catalytic site on the solid surface. The kinetics and
transport steps include dissolution of gas into the liquid, transport of
dissolved gas to the catalyst particle surface, and diffusion and reaction in
the catalyst particle.

PACKED BED BIOREACTORS

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

The most common reactor configuration used for immobilized cells is


that of packed bed of particles. The advantages of packed beds include
simplicity of operation and reasonable high mass transfer rates. Problems in
the operation of packed beds include obstruction by uncontrolled cell growth
and compression of the particles leading to excessive pressure drops. For
these reasons simple packed bed reactors are mostly used for the case of
non viable cells.

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

Packed beds can either be run in the submerged mode (with or without
aeration) or in the trickle flow mode.
A variety of packings are available for this purpose, both polymer,
ceramic, glass and natural (wood or bark) in dumped and structured forms,
porous or non-porous in a variety of shapes and sizes. These give very high
surfaces for cell immobilization and thin films with minimal mass transfer

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

limitations can be formed. The flow velocities in the channels can be high to
eliminate external mass transfer limitation in the adjacent liquid film as well.
Simultaneously, plugging can be avoided, albeit at the cost of high pressure
drop.

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

Schematic presentation of packed bed reactors


(a) packed bed; (b) packed bed with external aeration column

Fixed beds in anaerobic operation (e.g. digestion with methane


production) can be run in recycle mode to avoid gas building up in the
packing. With low gas production rates, recycling is not needed, and a
gradient of concentration may be established. It should be remarked that as

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

with gas absorbers or other packed bed operations any maldistribution of the
liquid flow will result in poor performance (e.g. channeling). Plugging of the
beds may occur as rapidly as every 1 or 2 days and this makes periodic
cleaning necessary. Injecting air and using a higher liquid flow rate for a
short period will normally dislodge excess biomass. This sudden burst of
biomass in the effluent has to be separated (e.g. by sedimentation) and
collected for further treatment.

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

Columns packed with immobilized biocatalyst particles are called


packed bed or fixed bed reactors, immobilized enzymes are used for the
influence of the packed catalysts on flow and kinetics feature. The superficial
flow velocity through the reactor is equal to the volumetric flow of the feed
divided by the void cross sectional area which is the total cross-sectional
area times the void fraction . The appropriate rate expression for use in the
tubular reactor material balance is based upon used of effectiveness factors.

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

For example, considering a single reaction S P with intrinsic rate v=v(s,p)


the rate if product formation per unit volume of immobilized biocatalyst
pellet at a point in the reactor is:
V|overall/unit volume of pellet = n(ss,ps)v(ss,ps)

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

Where ss and ps are the substrate and product concentrations at the exterior
pellet surface at that position inside the reactor. In general, the effectiveness
factor n, which accounts for intraparticle diffusion, and the rate expression v
depend upon both ss and ps, as indicated.

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

If mass transfer resistance between the bulk liquid phase and the pellet
surface is next examined, a steady state material balance on substrate over
the pellet gives for a spherical catalyst pellet of radius R:
Rate of substrate diffusion out of bulk liquid = rate of substrate
disappearance by reaction within pellet

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

Or

With this equation and reaction stoichiometry, ss and ps can be evaluated in


terms of the bulk liquid concentration s. Substituting these expressions into

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

the given equation then gives the total rate of substrate disappearance per
unit volume of catalysts in terms of the bulk fluid substrate concentration.
In writing the material balance on a differential slice of the plug flow packed
bed reactor, the bulk fluid exists only in a fraction of this volume and
catalysts particles occupy a fraction 1- of this volume. The substrate

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

concentration s

used in this equation is the concentration per unit fluid

volume. Accordingly, the material balance on substrate becomes:

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

Where, as noted above, the quantities on the right hand side can be
evaluated in terms of s, allowing integration of the equation for given values
of feed substrate and product concentration.
The situation is greatly simplified in intraparticle and external mass transfer
resistances are negligible, since these conditions imply n 1 and ss s,

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

respectively. In such circumstances, the governing mass balances can be


integrated analytically, with results as indicated for plug flow reactors.

BUBBLE - COLUMN BIOREACTOR

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

In these reactors mixing circulation and aeration is performed by gas


injection and if needed by additional external liquid circulation to obtain the
required mixing pattern. Figure below, gives an example of a possible
configuration. This usually results in less shear for a given quality of mixing
than in stirred tanks. Air lifts give more vigorous recirculation for the same
air flow, but often lower oxygen transfer rates than bubble columns. To limit
shear, small bubbles can be used in aeration, but depending on conditions

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

this may cause excessive foaming and requires more energy for their
generation at porous distributors.
Special designs for immobilized cells have been proposed, that avoid
the problems associated with separation of particles at the reactor outlet

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

The concept of an air lift reactor

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

Bubble column and air lift reactors: (a) bubble column; (b) air lift reactor; (c) air
lift with particle separator; (d) packed bed air lift

By bubble-column bioreactors it mean reactors with large aspect ratio


(height to diameter ratio) which take form of columns instead of more squat
tanks typical of agitated vessels. Also, in such reactors, mixing is supplied
entirely by forcing compressed gas into the reactor which then rises through

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

the liquid. Reactors of this type have been used for so many years in the
chemical industry because of the advantages of relatively low capital cost,
their simple mechanical configuration and reduced operating costs based on
the lower energy requirements. While relatively unfamiliar in the biological
processing industries, tower bioreactors have been used on a large scale for
beer production and for vinegar manufacture. Also, related tower designs are

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

essential elements of very large scale processes which have emerged for
cultivation of microorganisms for use as animal feed.
In some cases a single columns, which may contain internal plates or
even agitators in some or all stages, is used. The rector may be used in a
batch mode or operated continuously with cocurrent or countercurrent flow
of liquid relative to the rising gas. In several recent designs, called air lift or

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

pressure cycle reactors, an external loop is used to provide fluid circulation.


Such loops have the advantages of permitting high efficiency heat exchange,
a major need for large scale microbial cultivation on paraffinic or methanol
substrates. Also, the circulation loop enhances definition of the flow and
mixing properties in the vessel.

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

For a sufficient density of rapidly growing aerobic organisms, the overall


growth rate is typically limited by the rate of oxygen transfer from the gas
bubbles into the liquid phase. Studies on air-water sparged columns without
any recycle loops have shown that if (a) gas flow rates are large relative to
the liquid and (b) column height L and diameter dt are of similar magnitude,
both liquid and gas phases are well mixed.

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

Air-water experiments reveal that the gas bubbles rising through the liquid
will coalesce into slugs if the gas volume fraction exceeds a critical value
max ,which is roughly 0.3. The requirement that the gas volume fraction
remain less than max can be translated into a design specification for column
diameter by noting that any point in the tower:

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

Where FG and UG are the gas volumetric flow rate and linear velocity,
respectively. It can be reasonably assume U G is the terminal velocity Ut of a
single gas bubble in a stagnant liquid and that F G is roughly the same as the
feed gas flow rate FGf. The latter assumption is rationalized on the grounds

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

that O2 consumed from the bubbles is at least partially replaced by CO 2.


Under these conditions the previous equation reveals that is smaller than
max so long as:

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

which can be used to estimate sizing of the tower.

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

The figure illustrates schematically the conceptual framework applied to


formulate a 2-phase mathematical model for a concurrent flow tower loop
reactor (airlift bioreactor). In the tower section on the right hand side, two
phase flow of gas and liquid occurs. After gas separation at the top of the
column, a liquid stream is recycled through the loop on the left to the bottom
of the reactor which is also the point of gas sparging into the system. The
system is described by treating the liquid and gas as separate phases which

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

ascend the tower section with different linear velocities u L and uG ,


respectively. The volume fractions occupied by the liquid and gas are
designated L and G, respectively, and these values are determined from use
of gas holdup correlations or measurements.

FLUIDIZED BED BIOREACTORS

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

One of the major problems with stirred tank reactors is the attrition of
the matrix resulting from the vigorous stirring required for proper suspension
of particles, and this becomes more problematic if the particles are heavier,
larger and fragile matrices such as gels are used. When high volume
fractions of biomass particles are preferred, and this obviously enhances the
reactor efficiency, fluidized bed technology offers many possibilities. Such

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

reactors are not very different from bubble columns, except maybe for the
higher biomass fraction.

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

Fluidized bed reactors (a) fluidized bed (b) tapered fluidized bed

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

In its simplest two-phase operation , a flow of liquid is directed through


the particles at velocities above the 'minimum fluidization velocity'. This is
the velocity at which the pressure drop over the bed equals the weight of the
particles per unit surface and they are lifted off their fixed bed state. At
higher velocities, the bed will expand and only at much higher velocities will
particles be entrained by the liquid and the fluidized bed organization
destroyed. The settling rate drops as the solids fraction in the bed increases,

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

and consequently the minimum fluidization velocity is much lower than the
settling velocity of a single particle. Design of such systems in terms of
adequate fluid velocities is not very difficult, but in bioreactors of this type
the size and density of the aggregates or particles will depend on the growth
and hydrodynamic conditions and these are very difficult to predict
accurately. The expansion or minimum fluidization velocities are very
sensitive to these two parameters. This results in a complex coupled system

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

which is not easily accurately described. If, however, the supporting particles
are rather heavy and measures are taken for a stable film thickness, stable
operation and easy design will be possible. Excess biomass detached from
the particles is entrained by the fluid and can be separated from the effluent.
Since the requirements of fluidization flow rate will seldom match the
throughput for complete conversion in continuous systems, recycling is

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

necessary to obtain good fluidization. Using some bed expansion and higher
flow rates will give higher mass transfer rates from the liquid to the particles.
Clogging and dead zones will also be avoided and attrition may help in
controlling the particle film thickness.
Depending on particle size and density, liquid and gas flow rates, the
use of recycle and bed geometry, several mixing patterns may be obtained

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

in which the liquid phase and the solid phase are mixed or not. This is
important for the micro-organisms as in non-mixed solid systems they will
see rather steady conditions, but will rapidly face different conditions of pH,
temperature and concentrations of substrate, oxygen and product in the
case of mixing. If the liquid is well mixed, the concentrations are equal in all
points and if complete conversion is desired, the resulting conversion rates
may be low.

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

With little axial mixing (especially for large height/diameter ratios), a


concentration profile may be maintained and high conversion rates in the
entrance region may be combined with complete exhaustion of the substrate
in the exit part of the reactor.
In a fluidized bed tower reactor liquid flows upward through a vertical
long cylinder. Heterogenous biocatalyst particles are suspended by drag

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

forces exerted by the rising liquid. Entrained catalyst pellet are release at the
top of the tower by the reduced liquid drag at the expanding cross section
and fed back into the tower. Thus, by careful balance between operating
conditions and organisms characteristics, the biocatalyst is retained in the
reactor while the medium flows through it continuously.

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

A rudimentary model for such fluidized reactors can be developed by


assuming tat (1) the biological catalysts particles (microbial flocs or
immobilized enzyme pellets) are uniform in size, (2)the fluid phase density is
a function of substrate concentration, (3) the liquid phase moves upward
through the vessel in plug flow, (4) substrate-utilization rates are first order
in biomass concentration but zero order in substrate concentration and (5)
the catalyst particle Reynolds number based on the terminal velocity is small

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

enough to justify Stokes Law. Assumptions (1) to (3) may be adequate


approximations while (4) and (5) are reasonable for many applications.

Under these assumptions, the substrate conservation equation follows the


form:

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

For Stokes flow, the concentration of the suspended biomass can be related
to the liquid flow velocity in a fluidized bed by:

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

Where po is the microbial density on a dry weight basis and ut is the terminal
velocity of a sphere in Stokes flow. In the context of the fluidized bed it is
assume that the local biomass concentration is dictated entirely by
hydrodynamic factors rather that the biochemical reaction metabolism
features.

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

Substituting the two previous equations leaves two unknowns, s and u as


functions of position z in the tower.
Applying another equation (from plug flow reactor discussion).

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

To total mass (rf = 0) to reveal:

Expanding this equation and using p=p(s) gives:

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

To cast the model in standard form suitable for numerical integration, the
first two equations as simultaneous algebraic equations in the unknowns
ds/dz and du/dz. Solving this algebraic set, gives ds/dz and du/dz in terms of

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

s and u: a set of two simultaneous differential equations to be integrated


with the initial conditions:

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

Where Af is the tower cross section at the bottom. The effluent substrate
concentration se is s(z=L).
All this is much simplified if we assume that whatever fluid density changes
occur do not affect u significantly. With u independent of position, integration
of first equation results:

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

Where x has been inserted and L is the tower height.

TRICKLED BED BIOREACTOR

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

Trickle bed reactors are three phase systems containing a packed bed of
heterogenous catalyst and flowing gas and liquid phases. One (or more)
reactant is provided in each feed liquid and gas phase, so that biochemical
reactions depends on contacting of liquid, containing the sparingly soluble
reactant from the gas phase, with the catalyst surface. Accordingly, the
performance of such reactors is substantially influenced by the physical state

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

of gas-liquid flow through the fixed bed and by the associated mass transfer
processes.
The important physical characteristics of such a reactor are the surface area
of the packing, the efficiency of wetting of the catalyst by the flowing liquid
phase, the gas liquid flow patter, mass transfer of sparingly soluble reactants
from the gas to the liquid phase, mass transfer of both reactants to the

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

catalyst surface, and, in the case of a porous permeable catalyst, diffusion of


reactants to the intraparticle catalytic sites.

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


University of the City of Manila
Intramuros, Manila