Application of mathematical modelling to reducing and minimising energy requirement for oxygen transfer in batch stirred tank bioreactors

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Fitzpatrick, John J.
Gloanec, Franck
Michel, Elisa
Blondy, Johanna
Lauzeral, Anais
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In this study, microbial kinetic and oxygen transfer modelling coupled with energy analysis was applied to investigate how manipulation and control of agitator power input and air flowrate can reduce and minimise the total energy requirement in a batch aerobic bioprocess subject to constraints. The study showed that major energy savings can be made by appropriate selection of these variables and how they are controlled throughout a bioprocess. In many bioprocesses, the oxygen concentration in the liquid is controlled at a constant value. This may be achieved by maintaining the agitator power at a constant value and varying the air flowrate or vice versa, or by continuously varying both. The modelling showed that the minimum or near-minimum total energy requirement occurred when operating at the onset of impeller flooding throughout the bioprocess by continuously varying both impeller power and air flowrate over the bioprocess time. Operating at the onset of flooding may not be practical to implement in practice. However, the minimum energy can be approached by dividing the bioprocess time into a small number of time segments with appropriately chosen constant agitator powers and varying the air flowrate within each segment. This is much more practical to implement.
Energy efficiency , Aerobic bioprocess , Batch stirred tank bioreactor , Mathematical modelling
Fitzpatrick, J.J., Gloanec, F., Michel, E., Blondy, J. and Lauzeral, A., 2019. Application of Mathematical Modelling to Reducing and Minimising Energy Requirement for Oxygen Transfer in Batch Stirred Tank Bioreactors. ChemEngineering, 3(1), (14). DOI:10.3390/chemengineering3010014