Bioprocess Engineering

, Volume 4, Issue 6, pp 265–273 | Cite as

Diffusion of sucrose in xanthan gum solutions

  • B. Torrestiana
  • E. Galindo
  • E. Brito


Molecular diffusion of solutes, like sucrose in the xanthan gum fermentation, is important in order to understand the complex behavior of mass transfer mechanisms during the process. This work was focused to determine the diffusion coefficient of sucrose, a carbon source for xanthan production, using similar sucrose and xanthan concentrations to those occurring in a typical fermentation. The diaphragm cell method was used in experimental determinations. The data showed that diffusion coefficient of sucrose significantly decreases when xanthan gum concentration increases. Theoretical and semiempirical models were used to predict sucrose diffusivity in xanthan solutions. Molecular properties and rheological behavior of the system were considered in the modeling. The models tested fitted well the behavior of experimental data and that reported for oxygen in the same system.


Sucrose Fermentation Molecular Diffusion Semiempirical Model Mass Transfer Mechanism 
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List of Symbols


constant in eq. (5)

Cpg cm−3

polymer concentration

D cm2 s−1


DABcm2 s−1

diffusivity of A through liquid solvent

DAPcm2 s−1

diffusivity of A in polymer solution

DAWcm2 s−1

diffusivity of A in water

DPcm2 s−1

diffusivity of polymer in liquid solvent


gradient of the activation energy for diffusion


hydratation factor of the polymer in water (g of bound water/g of polymer)

K dyn sn cm−2

consistency index


constant in eq. (5)


overall binding coefficient [g of bound solute/cm3 of solution]/[g of free solute/cm3 of polymer free solution]


flow behavior index

MBg g mol−1

molucular weight of liquid solvent

MPg g mol−1

molecular weight of the polymer

MSg g mol−1

Molecular weight of polymer solution (= MBXB+MPXP)

R cm3 atm g mol−1 K−1

ideal gas law constant


absolute temperature

VBcm3 g mol−1

molar volume of liquid solvent

VPcm3 g mol−1

molar volume of polymer

VScm3 g mol−1

molar volume of polymer solution


solvent molar fraction


polymer molar fraction


polymer blockage shape factor


volume fraction of polymer in polymer solution

η g cm−1 s−1


ηag cm−1 s−1

apparent viscosity of the polymer solution

ηicm3 g−1

intrinsic viscosity

η0 g cm−1 s−1

solvent viscosity

ηPg cm−1 s−1

polymer solution viscosity


relative viscosity (= η/η0)

ηγ=0 g cm−1 s−1

viscosity of polymer solution obtained at zero shear rate

ϱ0 g cm−3

water density


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Torrestiana
    • 1
  • E. Galindo
    • 1
  • E. Brito
    • 2
  1. 1.Depto. de Bioingenieria Centro de Investigaciones sobre Ingenieria Genética y BiotecnologíaUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoCuernavacaMéxico
  2. 2.Departamento de Alimentos Facultad de QuímicaUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoMéxico D. F.México

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