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Continuous removal of ethanol from dilute ethanol-water mixtures using hot microbubbles

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journal contribution
posted on 15.06.2021, 11:01 by Joseph Calverley, William Zimmerman, David Leak, Hemaka Bandulasena
Product inhibition is a barrier to many fermentation processes, including bioethanol production, and is responsible for dilute product streams which are energy intensive to purify. The main purpose of this study was to investigate whether hot microbubble stripping could be used to remove ethanol continuously from dilute ethanol-water mixtures expected in a bioreactor and maintain ethanol concentrations below the inhibitory levels for the thermophile Parageobacillus thermoglucosidasius (TM242), that can utilize a range of sugars derived from lignocellulosic biomass. A custom-made microbubble stripping unit that produces clouds of hot microbubbles (~120°C) by fluidic oscillation was used to remove ethanol from ~2% (v/v) ethanol-water mixtures maintained at 60°C. Ethanol was continuously added to the unit to simulate microbial metabolism. The initial liquid height and the ethanol addition rate were varied from 10 to 50 mm and 2.1-21.2 g h-1 respectively. In all the experiments, ethanol concentration was maintained well below the inhibition threshold of the target organism (~2% [v/v]). This microbubble stripping unit has the potential to operate in conjunction with a 0.5-1.0 L fermenter to allow an ethanol productivity of 14.9-7.8 g L-1 h-1 continuously.

Funding

BBSRC and Innovate UK for funding (ISCF Wave 1 IBBB/S005285/1)

DTP - Loughborough University

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

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Enhanced Biofuel Production via Integrated Microbubble Technology

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

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History

School

  • Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering

Department

  • Chemical Engineering

Published in

Chemical Engineering Journal

Volume

424

Publisher

Elsevier

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© The Authors

Publisher statement

This is an Open Access Article. It is published by Elsevier under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0). Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Acceptance date

21/05/2021

Publication date

2021-05-28

Copyright date

2021

ISSN

1385-8947

Language

en

Depositor

Dr Hemaka Bandulasena. Deposit date: 21 May 2021

Article number

130511