Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering

, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 239–247 | Cite as

Rheology and Hydrodynamic Properties of Tolypocladium inflatum Fermentation Broth and Its Simulation

  • N. Benchapattarapong
  • W. A. AndersonEmail author
  • F. Bai
  • M. Moo-Young
Original papers


A physico-chemical, two phase simulated pseudoplastic fermentation (SPF) broth was investigated in which Solka Floc cellulose fibre was used to simulate the filamentous biomass, and a mixture of 0.1% (w/v) carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) and 0.15 M aqueous sodium chloride was used to simulate the liquid fraction of the fermentation broth. An investigation of the rheological behaviour and hydrodynamic properties of the SPF broth was carried out, and compared to both a fungal Tolypocladium inflatum fermentation broth and a CMC solution in a 50 L stirred tank bioreactor equipped with conventional Rushton turbines. The experimental data confirmed the ability of the two phase SPF broth to mimic both the T. inflatum broth bulk rheology as well as the mixing and mass transfer behaviour. In contrast, using a homogeneous CMC solution with a similar bulk rheology to simulate the fermentation resulted in a significant underestimation of the mass transfer and mixing times. The presence of the solid phase and its microstructure in the SPF broth appear to play a significant role in gas holdup and bubble size, thus leading to the different behaviours. The SPF broth seems to be a more accurate simulation fluid that can be used to predict the bioreactor mixing and mass transfer performance in filamentous fermentations, in comparison with CMC solutions used in some previous studies.


Fungal fermentation broth Pseudoplastic Mass transfer Mixing time CMC solution Solka-Floc 



Gas-liquid interfacial area per unit volume (m−1)


Instantaneous concentration of dissolved oxygen at any time, tmol.m−3)


Initial concentration of dissolved oxygen at time, t0 (mol.m−3)


Saturation concentration of dissolved oxygen (mol.m−3)


Mean bubble diameter (m)


Overall volumetric gas-liquid mass transfer coefficient (s−1K consistency factor (Pa.s n )


Flow behaviour index (-)


Rotational speed of the impeller (s−1)


95% homogeneity of mixing time (s)


Gas hold-up (dimensionless)


Apparent viscosity (Pa.s)


Shear stress (Pa)


Shear rate (s−1)



This work was financially supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. The assistance of Apotex Fermentation Ltd., Winnipeg, Canada, is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Benchapattarapong
    • 1
  • W. A. Anderson
    • 1
    Email author
  • F. Bai
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. Moo-Young
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada
  2. 2.Department of BioengineeringDalian University of TechnologyDalianChina

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