Bioreaction and separation in batch chromatographic columns

Taddei, L.E.M.
English
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The objective of this work has been to study the behaviour and performance of a batch chromatographic column under simultaneous bioreaction and separation conditions for several carbohydrate feedstocks. Four bioreactions were chosen, namely the hydrolysis of sucrose to glucose and fructose using the enzyme invertase, the hydrolysis of inulin to fructose and glucose using inulinase, the hydrolysis of lactose to glucose and galactose using lactase and the isomerization of glucose to fructose using glucose isomerase. The chromatographic columns employed were jacketed glass columns ranging from 1 m to 2 m long and the internal diameter ranging from 0.97 cm to 1.97 cm. The stationary phase used was a cation exchange resin (PUROLITE PCR-833) in the Ca2+ form for the hydrolysis and the Mg2+ form for the isomerization reactions. The mobile phase used was a diluted enzyme solution which was continuously pumped through the chromatographic bed. The substrate was injected at the top of the bed as a pulse. The effect of the parameters pulse size, the amount of substrate solution introduced into the system corresponding to a percentage of the total empty column volume (% TECV), pulse concentration, eluent flowrate and the enzyme activity of the eluent were investigated. For the system sucrose-invertase complete conversions of substrate were achieved for pulse sizes and pulse concentrations of up to 20% TECV and 60% w/v, respectively. Products with purity above 90% were obtained. The enzyme consumption was 45% of the amount theoretically required to produce the same amount of product as in a conventional batch reactor. A value of 27 kg sucrose/m3 resin/h for the throughput of the system was achieved. The systematic investigation of the factors affecting the performance of the batch chromatographic bioreactor-separator was carried out by employing a factorial experimental procedure. The main factors affecting the performance of the system were the flowrate and enzyme activity. For the system inulin-inulinase total conversions were also obtained for pulses sizes of up to 20 % TECV and a pulse concentration of 10 % w/v. Fructose rich fractions with 100 % purity and representing up to 99.4 % of the total fructose generated were obtained with an enzyme consumption of 32 % of the amount theoretically required to produce the same amount of product in a conventional batch reactor. The hydrolysis of lactose by lactase was studied in the glass columns and also in an SCCR-S unit adapted for batch operation, in co-operation with Dr. Shieh, a fellow researcher in the Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry Department at Aston University. By operating at up to 30 % w/v lactose feed concentrations complete conversions were obtained and the purities of the products generated were above 90%. An enzyme consumption of 48 % of the amount theoretically required to produce the same amount of product in a conventional batch reactor was achieved. On working with the system glucose-glucose isomerase, which is a reversible reaction, the separation obtained with the stationary phase conditioned in the magnesium form was very poor although the conversion obtained was compatible with those for conventional batch reactors. By working with a mixed pulse of enzyme and substrate, up to 82.5 % of the fructose generated with a purity of 100 % was obtained. The mathematical modelling and computer simulation of the batch chromatographic bioreaction-separation has been performed on a personal computer. A finite difference method was used to solve the partial differential equations and the simulation results showed good agreement with the experimental results.

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