Liquid-Membrane Hollow Fiber Enzyme Reactors

  • W. K. Lo
  • S. Putcha
  • B. U. Kim
  • L. Griffith
  • S. Bissell
  • P. R. Rony


The hollow fiber enzyme reactor has continued to attract both experimental and theoretical attention (1–8) since a theoretical study was first published in 1971 (9). A motivating force for the interest in the hollow fiber reactor, other than the fact that it is another object for chemical engineers to model mathematically, is the fact that it is one of the few practical reactors for the “immobilization” of multienzyme-coenzyme mixtures, a subject that is very much at the forefront of enzyme engineering at the present time. Notable is the work of Ford, Chambers and collaborators (1–3), who developed the first workable system for continuous steady-state operation with cofactor-requiring enzymes. These investigators employed a Dow reverse osmosis hollow fiber beaker, which had a rather tight membrane cutoff (200 M.W.), to retain the cofactor. They observed, however, that the permeability of even low molecular weight substrates and products (e.g. ethanol, acetaldehyde, and acetate) was quite small and suggested that a more open membrane, one with a higher molecular weight cutoff, would not only increase the permeability of small molecules, but would expand the capability of the hollow fiber reactor to higher molecular weight substrates and products.


Hollow Fiber Liquid Membrane Methyl Acetate Fiber Wall Permeation Coefficient 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. K. Lo
    • 1
  • S. Putcha
    • 1
  • B. U. Kim
    • 1
  • L. Griffith
    • 1
  • S. Bissell
    • 1
  • P. R. Rony
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringVirginia Polytechnic Institute & State UniversityBlacksburgUSA

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