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Crit Rev Biotechnol. 2001;21(4):233-94.

Hydrodynamic and mass transfer characteristics of three-phase gaslift bioreactor systems.

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  • 1Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada.


This review focuses on the hydrodynamic and mass transfer characteristics of various three-phase, gaslift fluidized bioreactors. The factors affecting the mixing and volumetric mass transfer coefficient (k(L)a), such as liquid properties, solid particle properties, liquid circulation velocity, superficial gas velocity, bioreactor geometry, are reviewed and discussed. Measurement methods, modeling and empirical correlations are reviewed and compared. To the authors' knowledge, there is no 'generalized' correlation to calculate the volumetric mass transfer coefficient, instead, only 'type-specific' correlations are available in the literature. This is due to the difficulty in modeling the gaslift bioreactor, caused by the variation in geometry, fluid dynamics, and phase interactions. The most important design parameters reported in the literature are: gas hold-up, liquid circulation velocity, 'true' superficial gas velocity, mixing, shear rate, aeration rate and volumetric mass transfer coefficient, k(L)a.

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