Using Gas Sparger Models to Determine Mass Transfer Coefficients and Bubble Area for Fermentation

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It is often challenging experimentally to determine the mass transfer area, a, in the constitutive equation for the rate of mass transfer,, where is the rate of mass transfer of component A between the phases and . Almost all experiments are designed to determine KMa ,which is an equipment specific quantity, limiting its utility for scaling up. Using an example developed for Mass and Heat Transfer: Analysis of Mass Contactors and Heat Exchangers, we show that model equations originally developed for commerical-scale gas-liquid contactors (Otero, 1983) can be applied to data obtained for a small scale fermentor (Biostat UD30) using only the gas flow rate and no assumptions to obtain separate values of and that compare very well with the composite value obtained from the data of Tobajas, M. et al (2003). Otero, Z (1983) PhD Dissertation, University of Delaware Tobajas, M., Garc'a-Calvo, E, Wu, X, Merchuk, J. (2003) World J. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 19:391-8.


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