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Mixing: Aeration and Agitation in a Stirred Tank Reactor

Maintain uniform conditions in the vessel (solid, liquid, gas


concentration, Temperature, pH).
Disperse bubbles throughout the liquid, promote bubble break-up,
increase gas-liquid interfacial transfer (bigger the interfacial area
for diffusion, the better)
romote mass transfer of essential nutrients
Mixing is effected by
!eration and agitation in a "tirred Tank #eactor
!eration (and consequent fluid circulation) in an !ir $ift #eactor
"chematic of "tandard tank configuration
Agitators in Bioreactors
Rushton Turbine Impeller in Glass Bioreactor
Types of agitator
(apparent viscosit%) & '( c, high ) (rotational speed)
turbine (rushton or inclined blade) like above
#emote clearance* D (agitator diameter) + T (tank diameter)
* (.,'-(.')
-essel baffled (in general, four strips of metal running parallel to the
.all of the bioreactor, protruding into the liquid) to prevent vorte/
(similar to flo. behaviour about a sink plug hole) formation at high
agitation speeds
The impact of turbine blade pitch on flow pattern
0lat blade #adial flo. (radial means perpindicular to the shaft of
the bioreactor. - out.ards)

"ketch and measure*
itched+inclined blade+propeller a/ial component (a/ial means that
a proportion of the primar% flo. is parallel to the shaft 1
up+do.n.ards)
"ketch and measure*
Marine propellers three blades, .ide range of ), high shearing
effect at high rotational speeds
"ketch and Measure*
High iscosity Solutions
High anchors.helical ribbons ( and propellers)
!nchors, helical ribbons*D+T 2(.3
$o.er speeds, vessels generall% not baffled
4ntermig agitator a/ial pumping impeller requires less energ%
and lo.er gas through-put to produce same mass transfer
coefficient as turbine.
4nsert 4ntermig icture Here*
0or adequate particle suspension and dispersal, ma% require
profiled vessel base5 inclined-blade agitators preferable
!imensionless "umbers in Agitated#Aerated Systems
6e use dimensionless numbers in agitated+aerated s%stems to help
us characterise the design and performance of the process, ho.ever
in a scale independent manner.
The first dimensionless number presented is the po.er number, )

' 7
D N
P
N
P


This number in con8unction .ith 4mpeller #otational "peed ()),
4mpeller Diameter (D) and $iquid Densit% () allo. us to calculate the
Mechanical o.er () being transmitted to the fluid b% a
turbine+impeller of a given design.
#e%nolds )umber is the second ke% number in the set of
dimensionless numbers. !gain similar to applications in pipes, etc.,
the #e%nolds number indicates the degree of turbulence e/perienced
in a stirred tank reactor.

,
#e
ND
N
6here is the viscosit% of the liquid in .hich the agitator is turning.
0lo. )umber ()
9
) 1 :seful measure of the pumping capacit% of an
impeller. !gain the number is design specific and independent of
scale.
7
ND
Q
N
Q


!eration )umber ()
9g
) 1 :seful measure of the gas dispersion
capabilities of the impeller.
7
ND
Q
N
g
Q
g


; agitator po.er (6) ().<. "haft po.er onl%)
D ; impeller diameter (m)
; fluid densit% (kg m
-7
)
) ; impeller speed (s
-=
)
; fluid viscosit% ()s m
-,
)
9 ; fluid flo. rate (m
7
s
-=
)
9
g
; gas flo. rate (m
7
s
-=
)
The Relationship of $ower "umber and Reynolds "umber
#elationship has three phases 1 each phase corresponding to the
three phases of liquid flo., laminar, transition and turbulent
! plot of $n )

vs $n )
#e
straight line, slope 1=
Turbulent flo., )
p
independent of )
#e
(also constant)
<ioreactors are, in the main, in turbulent flo.. This means that the
po.er number is constant for a given impeller design. o.er
numbers for a variet% of impellers in turbulent flo. have been .ell
characterised, therefore if .e kno. the impeller diameter and the
rotational speed of the impeller (both eas% to measure) .e can
subsequentl% estimate the mechanical po.er input to the bioreactor.
It is important to note that all of the correlations presented apply to
ungassed, single phase fluids only no allowances for aeration or
suspensions
4n general the Gassed Power is less than the calculated ungassed
power. ! general rule of thumb for the calculation of gassed po.er is

g
; (.>

%xample
?alculate the specific po.er requirement (+-) for a standard
configuration "T#, full% baffled, fitted .ith a #ushton turbine and
containing .ater at ,'
(
?. The vessel diameter is (.'m. The impeller
speed is 7((rpm.
Solution
"tandard "T# T ; (.'m
D ; T+7 ; (.=>@m
H ; T ; (.'m
- ; T
7
+A ; (.(3Bm
7
( )
7
,
,
#e
=( =
=>@ . (
>(
7((
=(((

,
_


!
ND
N


'
#e
=( A . = =73AA' ! N
full% turbulent flo., therefore from the o.er )umber #e%nolds
)umber correlation graph, (curve = is a #ushton turbine 1 remember
not to misread the log scaleC)
)

;'
;)
p
)
7
D
'
; (')(=((()(7((+>()
7
((.=>@)
'
; B=6
Power input per unit "olume is a useful compariti"e measure
between bioreactors of different scales
7 7
+ = + B,B
(3B . (
B=
m #$ m $
%
P

Typical Specific $ower &onsumptions '$#( k)#m
*
Mild agitation (.=
"uspending light solids
<lending of lo. viscosit% liquids
Moderate Agitation (.A
Das dispersion, liquid-liquid contacting
"ome heat transfer
+ntense Agitation =.(
"uspending heav% solids, emulsification
<lending pastes, dough A.(
+ndustrial,scale fermenters (.'-'
-ab,Scale fermenters '-=(
Reynolds "umber ranges for Rushton turbine
#e & =(
=
laminar flo.
=(
=
& #e & =(
A
transitional flo.
#e & =(
A
turbulent flo.

Mixing %ffecti.eness
Mi/ing time t
m
1 time required to achieve specified degree of
homogeneit%, starting from the completel% segregated state
! sub&ecti"e quantit%
Measured b% tracer studies
4n8ect a tracer pulse into the agitated vessel
Monitor concentration at a single point
?olouring+decolouring method
- e.g. meth%lene blue, iodine+starch
- simple to implement
- monitor b% e%e+spectrophotometer
- good for detection of stagnant regions
but - d%e ma% adhere to biomass
- ?oloration is irreversible (disposalE)
- vessels seldom transparent sampling
conductivit%
- electrol%te tracer e.g. F?$ added to vessel
- monitor response using conductivit% probe
- fast probe response time
- cheap and reliable for small scale s%stems using .ater
But - bubbles interfere .ith measurement
- addition of electrol%te to broth changes in osmotic
pressure rheological effects
- not suitable for actual fermentation s%stems
pH
- acid added
- one (or more) pH probes to monitor response
- pH probes steriliGable, .idel% available
- acid addition circuit available for pH control
- most suitable for large-scale applications
- suitable for three-phase s%stems
but - pH signal requires careful interpretation
&orrelations for t
m
in Stirred Tank Reactors
Single,phase li/uids
0or full% turbulent flo., the energ% delivered to the fluid b% the
impeller P, is completel% transformed into kinetic energ% of the liquid*
,
,
' 7
u
Q D N N P
P P

'0(
6here Q
P
is the pumping capacit% of the impeller (m
7
s
-=
) and u is the
liquid velocit% as it leaves the impeller. 0or an impeller blade .idth w,
Dw u Q
P

'1(
The circulation time t
circ
is defined as
circ
circ
circ
Q
%
t
'*(
0or an agitated vessel, Q
circ
, the circulation capacit% is greater than
the pumping capacit% Q
P
due to liquid entrainment b% the impeller.
H/perimentall% it has been determined that*
P circ
Q Q ,
'2(
The mi/ing time t
mi!
is related to t
circ
as follo.s*
circ mi!
t t A
'3(
!ssuming %
circ
; % ; T
'
()* and that
,
,
u u '4(
Hquations (=)-(') %ield
77 . (
,
7
1
1
]
1

,
_

,
_

,
_

D
w
N
T
(
D
T
N
c
t
P
mi!
'5(
0or the assumptions made above cI(.>.
0rom equation (@), for full% turbulent flo. (i.e N
P
constant)
Nt
mi!
; constant '6(
0or (+T and w;(.,D,
( )
[ ]
77 . (
7
+ J
P
mi!
N
D T
N
c
t
'7(
6here c
K
I =.@', in this case.
Ln the basis of e/perimental evidence for a .ide range of impellers
and assuming a mi/ing intensit% of I3(M, c
,
I7 (for single phase
s%stem, #e2=(,((()
0or #e &= / =(
A
, Nt
mi!
as #e
8or aerated systems '1 phases(
?omparativel% little e/perimental data available
$imited range of reactor+impeller design
Fno.ledge of the flo. mechanisms limited
0or gas flo. rates near the flooding region, influence of gas phase
ma% be significant
Ln the basis of data available
mi! mi!
t t ,
, ,

for equation (3), c
K
I >.
Significance of t
mix
for bioreactor operation9
H 1 measurement and controlE
DL concentrationE