Characterisation and Improvement of Oxygen Transfer in Pilot Plant External Air-Lift Bioreactor for Mycelial Biomass Production
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The oxygen transfer dynamics in a pilot plant external air-lift bioreactor (EALB) during the cultivation of mycelial biomass were characterized with respect to hydrodynamic parameters of gas holdup (), oxygen transfer coefficient (KLa) and superficial gas velocity (U g), and dissolved oxygen (DO). An increased flow rate of air supply was required to meet the increased oxygen demand with mycelial biomass growth. Consequently, an increase in air flow rate led to an increase in , KLa and the DO level. The enhancement of oxygen transfer rate in the cultivated broth system, however, was limited with highly increased viscosity of the mycelial broth. An increase in air flow rate from 1.25 to 2.00 v/v/m resulted in a low increment of oxygen transfer. The newly designed pilot plant EALB with two air spargers significantly improved processing reliability, aeration rate and KLa. The pilot plant EALB process, operated under a top pressure from 0 to 1.0 bars, also demonstrated a significant improvement of oxygenation efficiency by more than 20% in DO and KLa. The performance of the two sparger EALB process under top pressure demonstrated an efficient and economical aerobic system with fast mycelial growth and high biomass productivity in mycelial biomass production and wastewater treatment.
World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology