Growth of E. coli in a stirred tank and in an air lift tower reactor with an outer loop

Research paper by A. Gebauer, T. Scheper, K. Schügerl

Indexed on: 01 Mar '87Published on: 01 Mar '87Published in: Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering


E. coli ATCC 11105 was cultivated in a 10-1 stirred tank reactor and in a 60-1 tower loop reactor in batch and continuous operation. By on-line measurements of O2 and CO2 concentrations in the outlet gas, pH, temperature, cell mass concentration X as well as dissolved O2 concentration along the tower in the broth, gas holdup, broth recirculation rate through the loop and by offline measurements of substrate concentration DOC and cell mass concentration along the tower, the maximum specific growth rate μm, yield coefficients YX/S. YX/DOC and \(Y_{{\text{X/O}}_{\text{2}} }\) were evaluated in stirred tank and tower loop in batch and continuous cultures with and without motionless mixers in the tower and at different broth circulation rates through the loop. To control the accuracy of the measurements the C balance was calculated and 95% of the C content was covered.The biological parameters determined depend on the mode of operation as well as on the reactor used. Furthermore, they depend on the recirculation rate of the broth and built-ins in the tower. The unstructured cell and reactor models are unable to explain these differences. Obviously, structured cell and reactor models are needed. The cell mass concentration can be determined on line by NADH fluorescence in balanced growth, if the model parameters are determined under the same operational conditions in the same reactor.