THE SIMULATION MODEL TO BE DEVELOPED WILL ENABLE INDUSTRIAL RESEARCH ON BIOREACTORS TO BE PERFORMED MORE EFFICIENTLY. AS AN EDUCATIONAL TOOL, IT WILL PERMIT TO TEACH STUDENTS OF TECHNICAL UNIVERSITIES TO DEAL WITH VARIOUS ASPECTS OF INDUSTRIAL BIOCHEMICAL PROCESSES. PILOT INSTALLATIONS WILL BECOME IN MANY CASES REDUNDANT LEADING TO IMPORTANT SAVINGS IN PROCESS DEVELOPMENT COSTS.
Research on enzymatic processes is expensive and time consuming. By simulation, long lasting processes can be investigated within a few hours for only the cost of a computer. The computer program simulating the dynamic behaviour of an immobilized enzyme was developed for scientific education to familiarize students with modern process control of an enzymatic reactor.
The chosen enzyme was inulase, which degrades the polysaccharide inuline (obtained from artichokes and related plants) to fructose. According to the results of several laboratory experiments the dynamic behaviour of the reaction process was described by a set of algebraic equations and differential equations which constitute the mathematical model. The model was used in the graphic interactive dynamic simulations (GIDS) system, which allows 6 students to work simultaneously under the supervision of an instructor. The GIDS system simulates the process on an accelerated real time basis so that 1 h of processing is shown in 1 min.
The laboratory experimental data showed that the inulase reaction in principal follows Michaelis-Menten kinetics (the mathematical description of most enzymatic processes). However, within the bioreactor, the reaction was influenced by a complex diffusion process. During the simulation, experimental variables, such as pH, temperature, flow and concentrations, which influence the productivity and reaction rates, were tested. It was concluded that the theory of Michaelis-Menten kinetics for free enzymes does not hold true for experiments with immobilized enzymes.
THE OBJECTIVE OF THE RESEARCH PROGRAMME IS :
- TO OBTAIN A THOROUGH UNDERSTANDING OF THE KINETICS AND PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF THE IMMOBILIZED ENZYME COMPLEX. (INULINASE).
- TO DEVELOP A DYNAMIC PROCESS SIMULATION MODEL OF BIOCHEMICAL PROCESSES IN WHICH IMMOBILIZED ENZYMES ARE USED.
- TO APPLY THIS DYNAMIC PROCESS SIMULATION MODEL FOR OPTIMIZATION OF INDUSTRIAL RESEARCH PROGRAMMES AND SCIENTIFIC EDUCATION.
THIS RESEARCH PROGRAM WILL BE PERFORMED IN THREE STAGES :
1. LABORATORY RESEARCH TO OBTAIN SUPPLEMENTARY DATA ON THE IMMOBILIZED ENZYME SYSTEM,
2. DEVELOPMENT OF THE SIMULATION MODEL OF THE ENZYMATIC PROCESS,
3. IMPLEMENTATION OF THE SIMULATION MODEL ON THE COMPUTER OF THE FACHHOCHSHULE AACHEN.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts