Oxygen transfer in a three-phase bubble column using solid polymers as mass transfer vectors

  • G. Quijano
  • M. Franco-Morgado
  • M.S. Córdova-Aguilar
  • E. Galindo
  • F. Thalasso
Keywords: bubble size, gas holdup, interfacial area, non-aqueous phases, TPPB.


Three solid polymers; Kraton, Elvax, and Desmopan, previously suggested to be used in three-phase reactors, were evaluated for their ability to enhance oxygen transfer in a bubble column. These vectors were first characterized through determination of particle size distribution, surface roughness, specific surface area, density, void fraction and thermal stability. Oxygen transfer was then determined with a non-coalescing medium using polymer volume fractions from 0 to 75% in a 4 L bubble column operated at air flow rates ranging from 1 to 6 L/min. The results showed that the oxygen transfer was significantly improved in presence of 10 and 25% of Kraton and Elvax, compared with control experiment with no polymer. A maximum oxygen transfer improvement of 90%, compared with control, was observed with 10% Kraton. With Desmopan, no positive effect on oxygen transfer was observed regardless of the vector percentage used. Phase’s dispersion and oxygen transfer was further explored in presence of 10% Kraton. Gas holdup, Sauter mean bubble diameter and vector dispersion were characterized by means of high speed digital image analysis. The results showed that the enhancement of oxygen transfer mediated by Kraton was mainly caused by an increase of gas holdup and consequently of the gas/liquid surface area.


Amsden, B.G., Bochanysz, J. y Daugulis, A.J. (2003). Degradation of xenobiotics in a partitioning bioreactor in which the partitioning phase is a polymer. Biotechnology and Bioengineering 84, 399-405. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/bit.10804
Badino, A.C., Facciotti, M.C.R. y Schmidell, W. (2000). Improving kLa determination in fungal fermentation, taking into account electrode response time. Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology 75, 469-474. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/1097-4660%28200006%2975%3A6%3C469%3A%3AAID-JCTB236%3E3.0.CO%3B2-4
Clarke, K.G., William, P.C., Smit, M.S. y Harrison, S.T.L. (2006). Enhancement and repression of the volumetric oxygen transfer coefficient through hydrocarbon addition and its influence on oxygen transfer rate in stirred tank bioreactors. Biochemical Engineering Journal 28; 237-242. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1369703X05003566
Clarke, K.G. y Correia, L.D.C. (2008). Oxygen transfer in hydrocarbon-aqueous dispersions and its applicability to alkane bioprocesses: A review. Biochemical Engineering Journal 39, 405-429. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1369703X07004445
Darracq, G., Couvert, A., Couriol, C., Amrane, A. y Le Cloirec, P. (2010) Integrated process for hydrophobic VOC treatment-solvent choice. Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering 88, 655-660. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/cjce.20325
Daugulis, A.J., Tomei, M.C. y Guieysse, B. (2011). Overcoming substrate inhibition during biological treatment of monoaromatics: recent advances in bioprocess design. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 90, 1589-1608. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00253-011-3229-z
Deziel, E., Comeau, Y. y Villemur R. (1999). Two-liquid-phase bioreactors for enhanced degradation of hydrophobic/toxic compounds. Biodegradation 10, 219-233. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1023/A:1008311430525
Dumont, E. y Delmas, H. (2003). Mass transfer enhancement of gas absorption in oil-in-water systems: a review. Chemical Engineering and Processing 42, 419-438.
Elibol, M. (2001) Improvement of antibiotic production by increased oxygen solubility through the addition of perfluorodecalin. Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology 76, 418-422. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/jctb.389
Galindo, E., Pacek, A.W. y Nienow, A.W. (2000). Study of drop and bubble sizes in a simulated mycelial fermentation broth of up to four phases. Biotechnology and Bioengineering 69, 213-221. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/%28SICI%291097-0290%2820000720%2969%3A2%3C213%3A%3AAID-BIT10%3E3.0.CO%3B2-D
Guevara-Lopez, E., Sanjuan-Galindo, R., Cordova-Aguilar, M.S., Corkidi, G., Ascanio, G. y Galindo, E. (2008). High-speed visualization of multiphase dispersions in a mixing tank. Chemical Engineering Research and Design 86,1382-1387. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0263876208002104
Hashemi, S.F., Goharrizi, A.S. y Fazaelipoor, M.H. (2012). Two liquid-phase bubble column bioreactors for the removal of volatile organic compounds from air streams. Asia-Pacific Journal of Chemical Engineering 7, 442-447. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/apj.591
Hernandez, M., Quijano, G., Thalasso, F., Daugulis, A.J., Villaverde, S. y Munoz, R. (2010). A Comparative Study of Solid and Liquid Non-Aqueous Phases for the Biodegradation of Hexane in Two-Phase Partitioning Bioreactors. Biotechnology and Bioengineering 106, 731-740. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/bit.22748
Isaza, P.A. y Daugulis, A.J. (2009). Ultrasonically Enhanced Delivery and Degradation of PAHs in a Polymer-Liquid Partitioning System by a Microbial Consortium. Biotechnology and Bioengineering 104, 91-101. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/bit.22353
Littlejohns, J.V. y Daugulis, A.J. (2007) Oxygen transfer in a gas-liquid system containing solids of varying oxygen affinity. Chemical Engineering Journal 129, 67-74. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1385894706004943
Littlejohns, J.V. y Daugulis, A.J. (2008). Response of a solid-liquid two-phase partitioning bioreactor to transient BTEX loadings. Chemosphere 73, 1453-1460. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0045653508009880
Littlejohns, J.V. y Daugulis, A.J. (2009). A Two-Phase Partitioning Airlift Bioreactor for the Treatment of BTEX Contaminated Gases. Biotechnology and Bioengineering 103, 1077-1086. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/bit.22343
Montgomery, D.C. (2005). Design and analysis of experiments. Editorial John Wiley & Sons, USA. http://bcs.wiley.com/he-bcs/Books?action=index&itemId=047148735X&itemTypeId=BKS&bcsId=2172
Morrish, J.L.E. y Daugulis, A.J. (2008). Improved Reactor Performance and Operability in the Biotransformation of Carveol to Carvone Using a Solid-Liquid Two-Phase Partitioning Bioreactor. Biotechnology and Bioengineering 101, 946-956. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/bit.21957
Muñoz, R., Villaverde, S., Guieysse, B. y Revah, S. (2007). Two-phase partitioning bioreactors for treatment of volatile organic compounds. Biotechnology Advances 25, 1707-1720. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0734975012001486
Muñoz, R., Daugulis, A.J., Hernandez, M. y Quijano, G. (2012). Recent advances in two-phase partitioning bioreactors for the treatment of volatile organic compounds. Biotechnology Advances 30, 1707-1720. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0734975012001486
Nielsen, D.R., Daugulis, A.J. y McLellan P.J. (2003). A novel method of simulating oxygen mass transfer in two-phase partitioning bioreactors. Biotechnology and Bioengineering 83, 735-742. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/bit.10721
Pulido-Mayoral, N. y Galindo, E. (2004). Phases dispersion and oxygen transfer in a simulated fermentation broth containing castor oil and proteins. Biotechnology Progress 20, 1608-1613. https://aiche.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1021/bp030064o
Quijano, G., Revah, S., Gutierrez-Rojas, M., Flores-Cotera, L.B. y Thalasso, F. (2009a). Oxygen transfer in three-phase airlift and stirred tank reactors using silicone oil as transfer vector. Process Biochemistry 44, 619-624. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1359511309000476
Quijano, G., Hernandez, M., Thalasso, F., Munoz, R. y Villaverde, S. (2009b). Two-phase partitioning bioreactors in environmental biotechnology. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 84, 829-846. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00253-009-2158-6
Quijano, G., Rocha-Rios, J., Hernandez, M., Villaverde, S., Revah, S., Muñoz, R. y Thalasso, F. (2010a). Determining the effect of solid and liquid vectors on the gaseous interfacial area and oxygen transfer rates in two-phase partitioning bioreactors. Journal of Hazardous Materials 175, 1085-1089. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304389409016586
Quijano, G., Hernandez, M., Villaverde, S., Thalasso, F. y Muñoz R. (2010b). A step-forward in the characterization and potential applications of solid and liquid oxygen transfer vectors. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 85, 543-551. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00253-009-2146-x
Quijano, G., Miguel-Romera, J.A., Bonilla-Morte, L.M. y Figueroa-Gonzalez, I. (2017). Two-phase partitioning bioreactors for treatment of volatile hydrocarbons. En: Biodegradation and Bioconversion of Hydrocarbons, (K. Heimann, O.P. Karthikeyan y S.S. Muthu, eds.), Pp 225-258. Springer, Singapore. https://www.springerprofessional.de/en/hc-0b-05-two-phase-partitioning-bioreactors-for-treatment-of-vol/11037240
Rehmann, L., Sun, B. y Daugulis, A.J. (2007). Polymer selection for biphenyl degradation in a solid-liquid two-phase partitioning bioreactor. Biotechnology Progress 23, 814-819. https://aiche.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1021/bp0700962
Rehmann, L., Prpich, G.P. y Daugulis, A.J. (2008). Remediation of PAH contaminated soils: Application of a solid-liquid two-phase partitioning bioreactor. Chemosphere 73, 798-804. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0045653508007571
Rocha-Rios, J., Quijano, G., Thalasso, F., Revah, S. y Muñoz, R. (2011) Methane biodegradation in a two-phase partition internal loop airlift reactor with gas recirculation. Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology 86, 353-360. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/jctb.2523
Vandu, C.O., Koop, K. y Krishna, R. (2004). Volumetric mass transfer coefficient in a slurry bubble column operating in the heterogeneous flow regime. Chemical Engineering Science 59, 5417-5423. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0009250904005391
Zhang, G.D., Cai, W.F., Xu, C.J. y Zhou, M. (2006). A general enhancement factor model of the physical absorption of gases in multiphase systems. Chemical Engineering Science 61, 558-568. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0009250905006494
How to Cite
Quijano, G., Franco-Morgado, M., Córdova-Aguilar, M., Galindo, E., & Thalasso, F. (2020). Oxygen transfer in a three-phase bubble column using solid polymers as mass transfer vectors. Revista Mexicana De Ingeniería Química, 19(Sup. 1), 483-494. https://doi.org/10.24275/rmiq/Proc1486
Process engineering