Several studies have shown a strong relationship between morphology and agitation (  and ). The shear stress distribution and mass transfer are the important parameters which can improve the performance of bioreactor. In this work, a mathematical model using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) techniques is used to study the gas–liquid dispersion in an airlift reactor. Multiple rotating frame (MRF) technique is used to approximate the movement of the impeller in the stationary reactor. Population balance modeling (PBM) is used to describe the dynamics of the time and space variation of bubble sizes in the reactor. The PBM equation is solved using an approximate method known as the class method (CM) and the bubble sizes are approximated through a discrete number of size ‘bins’, including transport, and different bubble phenomena. These equations of the CM are then written as scalar transport equations and added to the multiphase fluid mechanical equations describing the dynamics of the flow. All these equations are solved using control volume formulation through the use of an open-source CFD package OpenFOAM. The model is used to analyze an existing geometry of an airlift bioreactor and validate the modification on the initial design. The new design of airlift gives a clear performance by the increase of the global and local mass transfer and the decrease of the shear stress.
- Bioreactors; Design; Mass transfer; Population balance; CFD; OpenFOAM
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/abdel_bannari/24/