(567bo) Critical Analysis of Trickle-Bed Reactor Used in Syngas Fermentation for Biological Alcohol Production by Clostridium Strain P11

Devarapalli, M., Oklahoma State University
Atiyeh, H. K., Oklahoma State University
Lewis, R. S., Brigham Young University
Huhnke, R. L., Oklahoma State University

Gasification of cellulosic biomass followed by the fermentation of the resulting syngas for the production of ethanol and other alcohols is a novel technology. Critical bottlenecks, such as low cell density and gas-liquid mass transfer limitations, diminish alcohol productivity, lower syngas conversion efficiency, and inhibit the movement of this process to commercial scale. This technical presentation will explore and critically evaluate the enhancement of mass transfer and associated alcohol productivity in a trickle-bed reactor (TBR) with capabilities of controlling gas and liquid flow rates. The effect of these rates and the size of packing materials on the mass transfer characteristics and performance of this reactor will be examined. A counter-current flow of liquid and gas configuration will be used. Mass transfer analysis will be carried out to determine the mass transfer coefficients (kLa) for gases of interest. The optimal conditions resulted in highest gas-liquid mass transfer coefficients for CO and H2 will be considered in syngas fermentation experiments. Tests will be conducted using Clostridium strain P11 where the reactor will be operated at 37°C and ambient pressure. Cell growth rates, ethanol and acetic acid production rates, CO and H2 consumption rates and CO2 production rates will be determined.