A reaction-diffusion model was used to simulate a co-immobilized system utilizing the numerical method of orthogonal collocation. The production of ethanol from deproteinized whey using beta-galactosidase co-immobilized with Saccharomyces cerevisiae in calcium alginate gel beads was chosen as a model system. Calculated concentrations of lactose, glucose, galactose and ethanol were compared with experimental data for a batch reactor and a continuous horizontal packed-bed reactor. The mathematical model has been used to analyse the influence of internal and external mass transfer for the continuous reactor. The external mass transfer was shown to be of minor importance. The introduction of baffles decreased the backmixing in the horizontal packed-bed reactor. Internal mass transfer was found to be the main cause of the reduction in the apparent reaction rate. Thus, much of the expected increase in reaction rate is diminished by mass transfer hindrance when the cell concentration is increased.
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Chemical Engineering