Improving performance of a gas stripping-based recovery system to remove butanol from Clostridium beijerinckii fermentation
The effect of factors such as gas recycle rate, bubble size, presence of acetone, and ethanol in the solution/broth were investigated in order to remove butanol from model solution or fermentation broth (also called acetone butanol ethanol or ABE or solvents). Butanol (8 g L–1, model solution, Fig. 2) stripping rate was found to be proportional to the gas recycle rate. In the bubble size range attempted (<0.5 and 0.5–5.0 mm), the bubble size did not have any effect on butanol removal rate (Fig. 3, model solution). In Clostridium beijerinckii fermentation, ABE productivity was reduced from 0.47 g L–1 h–1 to 0.25 g L–1 h–1 when smaller (<0.5 mm) bubble size was used to remove ABE (Fig. 4, results reported as butanol/ABE concentration). The productivity was reduced as a result of addition of an excessive amount of antifoam used to inhibit the production of foam caused by the smaller bubbles. This suggested that the fermentation was negatively affected by antifoam.