Infoscience

Journal article

Development of an enzyme fluidized bed reactor equipped with static mixers: application to lactose hydrolysis in whey

Reactor operation with immobilized enzymes in fixed bed arrangement is often impaired due to the presence of finely divided solid matter, adsorbing substances or gas. The fluidized bed reactor would be applied in such cases owing to a limited pressure drop, a controlled voidage, and the avoidance of perforated plates for catalyst retention. Since enzymic reactions are often slow processes, catalysts of high external surface area should be provided together with sufficient time. However, classical fluidized beds suffer from hydrodynamic instability under these conditions. Therefore, a new reactor design was developed which used motionless mixers as internals. Fluidized bed reactors equipped with internals exhibit an outstanding hydrodynamic stability accompanied by an increase of the operating range in terms of flow rate by a factor of 4 compared to the classical fluidized bed. Results are presented, with emphasis on the backmixing and expansion characteristics. Various motionless mixers were investigated in columns of 39 and 150 mm in diam. The fluidized bed equipped with internals was used for lactose [63-42-3] hydrolysis in partially deproteinized whey. The lactase [9031-11-2] from Aspergillus niger immobilized on silica gel particles of 125-160 mm had a half-life of .apprx.1 mo. [on SciFinder (R)]

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