The effect of design and scale on the mixing and mass transfer in U-loop bioreactors

Leander Adrian Haaning Petersen, John Villadsen, Sten Bay Jørgensen, Ib Christensen, Anna Eliasson Lantz, Krist V. Gernaey

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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.
Previous studies have proven that a U-loop fermenter, a novel vertical forced flow loop reactor where gas and liquid are driven through a series of static mixers in a U-shaped pipe, is quite capable of coping with these challenges in pilot scale. The critical question remains; what happens when the scale undergoes a more than 10 fold increase and the geometry is altered?
In this study we have investigated the mixing time and mass transfer capabilities of U-loop reactors of different geometries (high vs. diameter ratio) in pilot (0.15m3) and semi-industrial scales (2.2m3). A new expression for the mechanical power input into the system is also proposed, which indicates that an even more favorable relationship between power input and mass transfer rate (compared to previous literature) applies to U-loop fermenters.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2017
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventRecent Advances in Fermentation Technology - Hyatt Coconut Point, Florida, United States
Duration: 29 Oct 20171 Nov 2017


ConferenceRecent Advances in Fermentation Technology
LocationHyatt Coconut Point
Country/TerritoryUnited States


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