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A 4000 liter stirred tank bioreactor is used to grow Streptomyces for the production of lincomycin.

A mass spectrometer is used to

measure the gas phase composition in the inlet and outlet. The compositions are given below:
inlet outlet
nitrogen 79 77
oxygen 21 17
CO2 -- 3.4
water -- 2.6
The air flow rate is 4000 liter/min at STP. The fermentor is not perfectly well mixed and the dissolved oxygen concentration at the
bottom of the fermentor is 0.017 mmole/l while that at the top of the liquid is 0.015 mmole/l. The equilibrium relationship between
dissolved oxygen and partial pressure of oxygen is
C (mmole/l) = P (atm)
In other words, at a partial pressure (P
) of 0.21 atm the saturation dissolved oxygen concentration is 0.21 mmole/l. The pressure
of air in both the inlet and outlet can be considered to be 1.0 atm. Give your best estimate of K
a (24%) The maximum specific
growth of this organism is 0.3 h
and the yield coefficient is 1 g cell/gO
. If oxygen is the limiting nutrient, what is the highest cell
concentration that this fermentor can sustain.
Vinegar (acetic acid) can be produced by the aerobic oxidation of ethanol using Acetobacter suboxydans. The stoichiometry
of the reaction is:
OH + O
The oxygen required for cell growth is negligible compared to the oxygen required for acetic acid production. In the
production plant, you saw the following fermentor, which is being operated continuously. The total liquid volume was 50,000
liters (50 cubic meters). The tank diameter (D
) was 252 centimeters and two small 6-bladed turbine impellers each 30
centimeters (D
) were operated at high speed of 600 rpm. Air flow rate was measured to equal 5,000 liters per minute at
standard temperature and pressure (STP). The fermentation broth is essentially Newtonian having a viscosity of 1 centipoise
and a density of 1 gm/cm
From this information, you have been asked to predict the maximum productivity of acetic acid in gm/liter-hour which can be
achieved if oxygen transfer rate is the limiting factor.
Please use the following additional information.
(a) The dissolved oxygen (C
) during production should be maintained at 0.02 atm of oxygen.
(b) In order to simplify your calculations, neglect the hydrostatic head of the liquid on the partial pressure of oxygen. That is,
assume the inlet gaseous concentration of oxygen is equal to 0.21 atm.
(c) In your calculation, use cgs units (i.e. gm, cm). Conversion factors:
1 Horsepower (H) = 550 ft-lb/sec.
(d) Use Rushton's 6-bladed turbine
(e) Use correlations for gassed power and K
a in the textbook and handouts.
Note that Np vs Re plot is
dimensionless; while the other
two plots are dimensional. Must
keep units consistent to use the
those two plots.