(312c) Effect of Spatial Segregation On Commensalistic Cultures - Series Reactors | AIChE

(312c) Effect of Spatial Segregation On Commensalistic Cultures - Series Reactors

A comprehensive analysis of static and dynamic behavior of a mixed culture in two bioreactors in series is presented considering anaerobic digestion involving acidogens (X) and methanogens (Y) as the example bioprocess. A single continuous culture may operate at up to seven steady states, including up to four coexistence steady states, with only one coexistence steady state being locally stable. The bioreactors in the two-reactor system are identical in terms of composition of and dilution rate with respect to fresh feed. A two-reactor system may admit up to forty nine steady states, which are comprised of up to forty coexistence steady states, at least at very low interaction rates (R). When physically realizable, up to five coexistence steady states are locally stable. The static and dynamic analysis of the two-reactor system is facilitated by appropriate grouping of large number of steady states arising for very low R into nine clusters and grouping of the clusters into three cluster groups. Numerical illustrations reveal the rich steady state structure of the bioprocess for bioreactors in series. The two bioreactors can operate at up to five locally stable coexistence steady states over certain ranges of R. The two-reactor system is operationally more flexible and more robust vis-a-vis single reactor as concerns maintenance of mixed culture. Emergence of additional steady states at intermediate R  reveals that series bioreactors are an example of a complex system.