Optimum Design of a Continuous Fermentation Unit of an Industrial Plant for Alcohol Production

  • S. R. Andrietta
  • F. Maugeri


The aim of this work was the optimum design of the fermentation unit of an industrial plant for alcohol production from sugar cane by Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The kinetics was represented by a mathematical model having the growth rate as a function of the total reducing sugars, cell and alcohol concentrations and temperature. By means of computer simulations it was possible to obtain the best design for a fermentation plant under common Brazilian operational conditions. The result was a series of four CSTR’s with medium feeding in the first reactor. The volume of each reactor was not necessarily the same. In fact, there was an optimal profile that gave the highest productivity. The optimum volume of each stage was obtained using the simulation results and the SIMPLEX method of optimization. The volume profile leading to the highest productivity was: 21% of total volume for the first reactor, 27% for the second reactor, 31% for the third one, and 21% for the last one. The equations used in the simulations were obtained from the mass and energy balances of the system and kinetic equations based on parameters taken from industrial data. The final result was implemented in an ethanol factory and the so far collected operational data showed good agreement with the theoretical results.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Literature Cited

  1. 1.
    FINGUERUT, J.; CÉSAR, A.R.P.; LEINER, K.H.; VAZ ROSSEL C.E. Fermentaçâo continua em múltiplos estdgios.Stab Açúcar, Alcool e Subprodutos, 9: 45–51, 1990b.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    LEE, J.M.; POLLARD, J.F.; COULMAN, G.A. Ethanol fermentation with cell recycling: computer simulation. Biotechnol. Bioeng., 25: 497–511, 1983.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    VAN UDEN, N. Ethanol toxicity and ethanol tolerance in yeast. Use of extracelular acidification for rapid testing of ethanol tolerance. Biotechnol. Bioeng., 28: 1596–1598, 1985.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    ANDRIETTA, S.R. Modelagem, Simulaçâo e controle de fermentaçâo alcoolica continua em escala industrial. PhD Thesis, Unicamp/FEA - Brazil, 1994.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    DALE, M.C.; CHEN, C.; OKOS, M.R. Cell growth and death rates as factors in the long-therm performance, modeling and design of immobilized cell reactor. Biotechnol.Bioeng., 36: 983–92, 1990.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    ANDRIETTA, S.R. & STUPIELLO, J.P. Simulaçâo e modelagem para processos de fermentaçâo alcoolica (I) Batelada Alimentada.Stab Açticar, Alcool e Subprodutos, 8: 36–40, 1990a.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    ANDRIETTA, S.R. & STUPIELLO, J.P. Simulaçâo e modelagem para processos de fermentaçâo alcoolica (II) Continua. Stab Açúcar, Alcool e Subprodutos, 9: 45–51, 1990b.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. R. Andrietta
    • 1
  • F. Maugeri
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculdade de Engenharia de AlimentosUNICAMP CampinasBrazil

Personalised recommendations