The effect of starvation periods on the performance of a two-liquid-phase mixed tank bioreactor for removal of n-hexane from air streams
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In this research the effect of silicone oil as a heavy organic solvent on the performance of a mixed tank bioreactor was investigated. In the first stage of the experiments, the response of a two-liquid-phase mixed tank bioreactor to periods of n-hexane starvation was compared with that of a control bioreactor. In the control bioreactor, after 3 days of starvation, approximately six days were needed to reach the removal efficiency it had before starvation. This figure was only 10 h for the silicone oil-containing bioreactor. The results confirmed that inclusion of a heavy organic solvent can increase the elimination capacity of a bioreactor and to help sustain high elimination capacity after starvation periods. In the second stage of the experiments, the effect of the amount of silicone oil on the performance of the bioreactor was investigated. Increasing the amount of oil from 5 to 10% (v/v) increased the maximum elimination capacity from 106 to 117 g/m3 h.
KeywordsTwo-liquid-phase mixed tank bioreactor Starvation n-Hexane Silicone oil
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