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The successful industrial production of ethanol and fine chemicals requires the development of new biocatalytic reactors and support materials to achieve economically viable processes. In this work, a Stirred-Catalytic-Basket-BioReactor using various immobilizing foams as support material and compared to free cells were used, focusing mainly on; (i) effect of mass-transfer on cells physiology and (ii) ethanol productivity. The performance of the reactor was further evaluated by ethanol volumetric productivity, yield and time for process completion and it was found that the variation of ethanol production and diffusion of the substrate in fermentation process are co-related with the stirrer speed and initial glucose concentration. It was also observed that the time difference for glucose consumption between free and immobilized cells (alginate and sponges) tends to increase by increasing the glucose concentration in the medium. We found that at higher stirrer speed (500 rpm) when using higher glucose concentration (200 g/l), ethanol volumetric productivity increased significantly in the sponge (85 g/l) as compared to alginate beads (79 g/l) and free cells (60 g/l). From the data obtained, it can be concluded that sponges are the best support material for attaining higher ethanol productivity. A stirred catalytic basket bioreactor with yeast cells immobilized in polyethylene sponge gives higher ethanol production at a higher glucose consumption rate, and this productivity is due to higher mixing efficiency and reduced external as well as internal mass transfer limitations. The potentials of the reactor rank it as a remarkable ethanol/fine-chemical production approach that needs further investigations.
Hussain, A., Kangwa, M., & Fernandez-Lahore, M. (2017). Comparative analysis of stirred catalytic basket bio-reactor for the production of bio-ethanol using free and immobilized Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells. AMB Express, 7(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13568-017-0460-8