, Volume 51-52, Issue 1, pp 605-620

Use of a biparticle fluidized-bed bioreactor for the continuous and simultaneous fermentation and purification of lactic acid

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A continuous biparticle fluidized-bed reactor is developed for the simultaneous fermentation and purification of lactic acid. In this processing scheme, bacteria are immobilized in gelatin beads and are fluidized in a columnar reactor. Solid particles with sorbent capacity for the product are introduced at the top of the reactor, and fall counter currently to the biocatalyst, effectingin situ removal of the inhibitory product, while also controlling reactor pH at optimal levels. Initial long-term fermentation trials using immobilizedLactobacillus delbreuckii have demonstrated a 12-fold increase in volumetric productivity during absorbent addition as opposed to control fermentations in the same reactor. Unoptimized regeneration of the loaded sorbent has effected at least an eightfold concentration of lactic acid and a 68-fold enhancement in separation from glucose compared to original levels in the fermentation broth. The benefits of this reactor system as opposed to conventional batch fermentation are discussed in terms of productivity and process economics.

The submitted manuscript has been authored by a contractor of the US government under contract No. DE-AC05-84OR21400. Accordingly, the US government retains a nonexclusive, royalty-free license to publish or reproduce the published form of this contribution, or allow others to do so, for US government purposes.