Acoustically-Enhanced Extractive Fermentation for Biomass Utilization
Small Business Information
1901 South Franklin, Butte, MT, 59701
Abstract72428S03-I Combining the unit operations of solvent extraction and fermentation would substantially lower the capital cost and operating expense of converting biomass to usable products. However, attempts to develop these extractive fermentations have suffered from oxygen and mass transfer limitations and long coalescing times. This project will apply novel acoustic agitation technology in the construction of an improved extractive fermentation bioreactor. This novel mixing technology will dramatically enhance gas-liquid and liquid-liquid mass transfer beyond standard impeller mixers, with even more improvement as the viscosity increases. Phase I will characterize the mass and oxygen transfer in the novel extractive fermentation bioreactor. The level of improvement will be quantified by conducting extractive fermentations with two processes of relevance to biomass conversion. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by awardee: The technology should lead to sales of extractive fermentation bioreactors to companies developing large-scale biorefineries for the conversion of biomass to usable products (e.g., ethanol production). The technology also should enable the development of new extraction matrices that are currently limited by viscosity considerations.
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