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Research Proposal

Study on Agitated Airlift Bioreactors

Mechanically stirred tanks and airlift bioreactors and are widely used in bioprocessing . Airlift
bioreactors are applicable for relatively less viscous fluids and when there is a need for gentle
agitation and low-cost oxygen transfer. In comparison, conventional stirred fermenters have a
broader range of applications but they perform poorly in highly viscous non-Newtonian media,
have a poorly defined mixing pattern relative to airlift reactors, and cannot be aerated at a high
rate because of impeller flooding. A mechanically agitated hybrid airlift bioreactor with one or
more downward pumping axial flow impellers located in the draft-tube and aeration confined to
the annular zone, potentially overcomes some of the limitations of both the conventional stirred
and the airlift vessels. This hybrid bioreactor has a highly directional flow pattern similar to that
of an airlift device but it can achieve greater rates of fluid circulation than are possible in
conventional airlift reactors.
Highly directional and enhanced circulation of fluid means an improved capability for
suspending solids and reduced axial gradients of concentration of nutrients and oxygen. Such
gradients are known to occur in tall airlift reactors and affect performance adversely.
Furthermore, in the hybrid configuration, the gas is sparged in the annular riser zone and not
beneath the impeller; therefore, flooding becomes less of a concern.
In some cases By employing an impeller in the riser, the volumetric mass transfer coefficient can
be enhanced up to four times compared with a classical internal airlift.
Whereas the stirred hybrid airlift reactor has been shown to perform well, little is known about
such devices compared to the knowledge base for the design of normal stirred and airlift
the required field of study in this subject covers:
1- the influence of different types of impellers on hydrodynamics and mass transfer in an
internal loop contactor.
2- An influence of the gas flow rate and the stirrer speed on the riser and downcomer gas
hold-up difference and on the liquid circulation velocity.
3- Study the performance of the system using fermentation systems like fermentations of the
mycelia micro fungus and antibiotic erythromycin production.

Srgio S. de Jesus, Aline Santana, and Rubens Maciel Filho Hydrodynamic

and Mass Transfer Study in a Mechanically Stirred Hybrid Airlift Bioreactor
Based on Impeller Type, International Journal of Chemical Engineering and
Applications, Vol. 5, No. 1, February 2014, 42-45
Woong Bang, Anne-Marie Duquenne, Henri Delmas and Aime Bascoul, Effect
of a mechanical agitator on hydrodynamics and mass transfer in gas-liquid
airlift reactor CJCE, 77, (1999)1106-1112.
Wang Bang, Iordan Nikov, Hami Delmas1 & Aime Bascoul1 Gas Liquid
Mass Transfer in a New Three-Phase Stirred Airlift Reactor J. Chem. T echnol.
Biotechnol. 1998, 72, 137-142
W. Bang, X. Lu, A.M. Duquenne, I. Nikov, A. Bascoul, Glucose oxidation in a
three-phase stirred airlift reactor:experiments and model Catalysis Today 48
(1999) 125-130
Bozenna T. Kawalec-Pietrenko and Zbigniew Cisiak Interrelation among
Liquid Velocity, Impeller Speed and Gas Flow Rate in the Stirred Airlift
Reactor, Chem. Eng. Technol. 24 (2001) 11, 1133-1139.
Studies in Stirred AirLift Reactor Chem. Eng. Comm., 192: 108124, 2005.
Yusuf Chisti , Ulises J. Jauregui-Haza Oxygen transfer and mixing in
mechanically agitated airlift bioreactors, Biochemical Engineering Journal 10
(2002) 143153.