Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering

, Volume 41, Issue 5, pp 679–695 | Cite as

Hydrodynamic performance of a single-use aerated stirred bioreactor in animal cell culture: applications of tomography, dynamic gas disengagement (DGD), and CFD

  • Argang Kazemzadeh
  • Cynthia Elias
  • Melih Tamer
  • Farhad Ein-Mozaffari
Research Paper


The hydrodynamics of gas–liquid two-phase flow in a single-use bioreactor were investigated in detail both experimentally and numerically. Electrical resistance tomography (ERT) and dynamic gas disengagement (DGD) combined with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) were employed to assess the effect of the volumetric gas flow rate and impeller speed on the gas–liquid flow field, local and global gas holdup values, and Sauter mean bubble diameter. From the results obtained from DGD coupled with ERT, the bubble sizes were determined. The experimental data indicated that the total gas holdup values increased with increasing both the rotational speed of impeller and volumetric gas flow rate. Moreover, the analysis of the flow field generated inside the aerated stirred bioreactor was conducted using CFD results. Overall, a more uniform distribution of the gas holdup was obtained at impeller speeds ≥ 100 rpm for volumetric gas flow rates ≥ 1.6 × 10−5 m3/s.


Bioreactor Mixing Hydrodynamics Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) Electrical resistance tomography (ERT) Dynamic gas disengagement (DGD) Gas holdup 




Sauter mean bubble diameter (m)


Impeller diameter (m)


Shaft diameter (m)


Vertical distance above gas distributor (m)


Liquid height (m)


Tank height (m)


Impeller blade height (m)


Disengagement classes (dimensionless)


Impeller speed (rpm)


Corrected torque (N.m)


Power consumption (W)


Reynolds number (dimensionless)


Volumetric gas flow rate (m3/s)


Time (s)


Bubble rising time (s)


Impeller blade thickness (m)


Tank diameter (m)


Fluid volume (m3)


Bubble volume (m3)


Tangential velocity (m/s)


Bubble rise velocity (m/s)


Impeller blade width (m)

Greek letters


Liquid viscosity (Pa s)


Gas viscosity (Pa s)


Liquid density (kg/\({\text{m}}^{3}\))


Total gas holdup (dimensionless)

\(\bar{\varPhi }_{\text{g}}\)

Average gas holdup (dimensionless)


Local gas holdup (dimensionless)


Shaft angle (\(^\circ\))


Surface tension (mN/m)


Conductivity of contentious fluid (mS/cm)


Conductivity of dispersed phase (mS/cm)


Measured mixture conductivity (mS/cm)

\(\bar{\sigma }_{\text{mc}}\)

Average measured mixture conductivity (mS/cm)





The financial support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) is gratefully acknowledged. The authors would like to thank HPCVL (High performance Computing Virtual Laboratory) for providing the high performance computing facility. The authors also acknowledge the support from Francois Collins, Heather Scott, and the technical staff of Thermo Fisher Scientific.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Argang Kazemzadeh
    • 1
  • Cynthia Elias
    • 2
  • Melih Tamer
    • 2
  • Farhad Ein-Mozaffari
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringRyerson UniversityTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Sanofi Pasteur CompanyTorontoCanada

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