Published: CABEQ 33 (4) (2019) 459–470
Paper type: Original Scientific Paper

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Oscillatory Flow Bioreactor (OFB) Applied in Enzymatic Hydrolysis at High Solid Loadings

J. Buchmaier, C. Brunner, U. Griesbacher, A. N. Phan, A. P. Harvey, R. K. Gudiminchi, B. Nidetzky and B. Muster

Within this study, an enzymatic hydrolysis process using α-cellulosic feedstock was performed in a specially designed plug-flow reactor, referred to as an Oscillatory Flow Bioreactor (OFB). The aims of this approach were to achieve intensification in terms of realising a more energy- and resource-efficient enzymatic hydrolysis, as well as to set the basis for continuous processes in such a reactor. The OFB performance was evaluated for high solid loadings of up to 15 %, and compared to the performance of a Stirred Tank Reactor (STR). Experimental results of the OFB operating at an oscillation frequency of 2 Hz and an oscillation amplitude of 10 mm exhibit better conversion efficiencies (+ 6.7 %) than the STR after 24 h, while requiring only 7 % of the STR power density (W m–3). Therefore, the OFB enables efficient, uniform mixing at lower power densities than STRs for applications with high solid loadings.

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oscillatory baffled reactor, biorefinery, enzymatic hydrolysis, lignocellulosic feedstock, reactor design