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Influence of biomass on hydrodynamics of an internal loop airlift reactor

M. Juraščík, M. Hucík, I. Sikula, J. Annus, and J. Markoš

Institute of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Chemical and Food Technology, Slovak University of Technology, Radlinského 9, 812 37 Bratislava, Slovak Republic



Received: 19 April 2006  Revised: 19 June 2006  Accepted: 19 July 2006

Abstract: The effect of the biomass presence on the overall circulation velocity, the linear velocities both in the riser and the downcomer and the overall gas hold-up was studied in a three-phase internal loop airlift reactor (ILALR). The measured data were compared with those obtained using a two-phase system (air—water). All experiments were carried out in a 40 dm3 ILALR at six different biomass concentrations (ranging from 0 g dm−3 to 7.5 g dm−3), at a temperature of 30°C, under atmospheric pressure. Air and water were used as the gas and liquid model media, respectively. Pellets of Aspergillus niger produced during the fermentation of glucose to gluconic acid in the ILALR were considered solid phase. In addition, liquid velocities were measured during the fermentation of glucose to gluconic acid using Aspergillus niger. All measurements were performed in a bubble circulation regime. At given experimental conditions the effect of the biomass on the circulation velocities in the ILALR was negligible. However, increasing of the biomass concentration led to lower values of the total gas hold-up.

Keywords: airlift reactor - circulation velocity - gas hold-up - Aspergillus niger

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.2478/s11696-006-0080-2


Chemical Papers 60 (6) 441–445 (2006)

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