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Membrane-assisted extractive bioconversions.

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  • 1Center for Biological and Chemical Engineering, Instituto Superior T├ęcnico, Av. Rovisco Pais,1049-001 Lisboa, Portugal.


This chapter summarizes the use of membrane reactors in extractive bioconversions as process integration systems leading to in situ product recovery. Several membrane reactor configurations are analyzed, taking into account the type of bioconversion, biocatalyst type and location (either in the aqueous phase or in the membrane), membrane chemistry and morphology, solvent (extractant) type and its biocompatibility. Modeling of liquid-liquid extractive membrane bioreactors operation is also analyzed considering kinetics and mass-transfer aspects. The chapter includes examples from the authors' laboratory as well as other published in the field. Both enzyme and whole cell-based bioconversions are considered. Relevant aspects related to the solvent (extractant) toxicity and how the membrane could protect the biocatalytic activity are analyzed. Trends in this field are also given.

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