Biodegradation of lipids from olive oil mill wastewaters in a stationary basket bioreactor with immobilized Bacillus spp. cells – Influence of internal diffusion

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The study is focused on the external and internal mass transfers of lipids during their biodegradation process in a bioreactor with stationary basket bed of immobilized Bacillus spp. cells. By means of the lipid mass balance for a single particle of biocatalyst, considering the kinetic model adapted for the immobilized bacterial cells, specific mathematical models have been developed to estimate their mass flows in the liquid boundary layer surrounding the particle and inside the particle. The values of mass flows are significantly influenced by the internal diffusion velocity of lipids and the rate of their consumption, but also by the position inside the basket bed. These influences accumulated led to the appearance of a biological inactive region near the particle centre, its magnitude varying from 1.3 to 49.4% of the overall volume of particles.

Keywords: Bacillus spp., bioreactor, diffusion, immobilized cells, lipids, mass transfer

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