© 2018 Meso-OFR research line

Biotechnology

Bubble column and Airlift reactors are, normally, the first choice in many applications, especially the ones involving biomaterial.  Their popularity is essentially related to the simple design; non-mechanical agitation; and satisfactory heat and mass transfer properties. However, problems related with bad mixing, scale-up, product quality and process reproducibility, are typically reported. In order to overcome some of these limitations oscillatory flow reactors (OFR) have been studied (Figure 1.). These reactors, located in the frontier of mechanically and non-mechanically agitator reactors, will be explored in this research topic and compared with the two most common bioreactors (bubble column and Airlift), highlighting the advantages and limitations of these reactors and their possible contribution for future developments in biotechnology & bioengineering.

Figure 2. shows a plot of kLa in the OFR-SPC. As one can see the kLa increases 10 times in comparison with bubble column (f=0 Hz) as a result of interfacial area (Figure 3.) and liquid-side mass transfer coefficient increase.  

Figure 1. Schematic diagram of the experimental apparatus for gas/liquid mass transfer.

Figure 2. Effect of oscillation frequency and superficial gas velocity on volumetric liquid side mass transfer coefficient in the OFR-SPC using the amplitude x0=0.34*L. 

Figure 3. Frequency effect on bubble size (constant superficial gas velocity and amplitude).