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Mass Transfer and Shear in an Airlift Bioreactor: Using a Mathematical Model to Improve Reactor Design and Performance
Chemical Engineering Science (2011)
  • Rachid Bannari, Ph.D
  • Abdel Bannari, Ph.D
  • Brahim Selma
  • Pierre Proulx, Pr
Abstract

Several studies have shown a strong relationship between morphology and agitation [6, 7]. 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 Compu- tational 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 move- ment 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 dierent 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 ana- lyze 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 the decrease of the shear stress.

Keywords
  • Bioreactors,
  • Design,
  • Mass transfer,
  • Population balance,
  • CFD,
  • Open FOAM
Publication Date
Winter January 19, 2011
Citation Information
Rachid Bannari, Abdel Bannari, Brahim Selma and Pierre Proulx. "Mass Transfer and Shear in an Airlift Bioreactor: Using a Mathematical Model to Improve Reactor Design and Performance" Chemical Engineering Science Vol. CES9539 (2011)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/rachid_bannari/14/