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Biotechnol Bioeng. 1992 Jan 20;39(2):148-56.

Continuous butanol/isopropanol fermentation in down-flow column reactor coupled with pervaporation using supported liquid membrane.

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Institute of Applied Biochemistry, University of Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305, Japan.


Continuous butanol/isopropanol fermentation with immobilized Clostridium isopropylicum was performed in a downflow column reactor using molasses as the substrate. In order to prevent product inhibition and at the same time obtain high concentration of the products, the column reactor was coupled with a pervaporation module using a supported liquid membrane. The liquid membrane was prepared with oleyl alcohol nontoxic to the microorganism. In comparison with the continuous fermentation without product removal, the specific butanol production rate was 2 times higher. The butanol concentration in the permeate was 230 kg/m(3), which was about 50 times higher than that in the culture broth. A numerical investigation suggested a further increase in the productivity by improving the module construction.


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