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EVALUATION OF CONTINUOUS ALCOHOLIC FERMENTATION PROCESSES WITH IMMOBILISED OR FLOCCULATED MICRO-ORGANISMS.

Objective

DEVELOPMENT AND OPERATION ON A SEMI-INDUSTRIAL SCALE OF A CONTINUOUS ALCOHOLIC FERMENTATION PROCESS, INVOLVING HIGH CELL DENSITY FLOCULATED MICRO-ORGANISMS (YEAST OR BACTERIA) INTO AN AUTOMATED BIOLOGICAL REACTOR WITHOUT EXTERNAL MICRO-ORGANISMS RECYCLE : THE RETENTION TIME INTO THE FERMENTER BEING A FUNCTION OF THE FERMENTER GEOMETRICAL CHARACTERISTICS; DEFINED FROM MICROBIAL FLOCS HYDRODYNAMIC PROPERTIES. THE OPERATING RESULTS WILL BE COMPARED TO THOSE OBTAINED IN THE CONTINUOUS ALCOHOLIC FERMENTATION PILOT WORKING WITH YEAST IMMOBILISED ON SODIUM ALGINATE BEADS (THIS PILOT HAS BEEN OPERATED AT BRUGGEMAN DISTILLERY - GENT, BELGIUM).

THE HIGH CELL DENSITY CONTINUOUS FERMENTATION ALLOWS THE PRODUCTION OF A BEER CONTAINING UP TO 80GR/1 ETHANOL WITH A HIGH PRODUCTIVITY. THIS HIGHER PRODUCTIVITY LEADS TO AN IMPORTANT DECREASE OF NEEDED FERMENTATION VOLUME COMPARED TO TRADITIONAL PROCESSES. THE INVESTMENT COST IS SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCED, AS WELL AS THE ETHANOL PRODUCTION COST.

THE USE OF NON TRADITIONAL MICRO-ORGANISMS SUCH AS ZYMONAS MOBILIS BACTERIA WILL ADDITIONALLY IMPROVE THE SUGAR TO ETHANOL CONVERSION EFFICIENCY.

ENVISAGED SUBSTRATES ARE CANE OR BEET MOLASSES FOR ONE SIDE, AND GLUCOSE SYRUPS RESULTING FROM STARCH HYDROLYSIS FOR THE OTHER SIDE.

THE RESEARCH INVOLVES NOT ONLY THE ADDITIONAL LABORATORY TEST WITH THE ABOVE-MENTIONED SUBSTRATES, BUT ALSO THE NECESSARY MODIFICATION AND ADAPTATION OF THE EXISTING PILOT AS WELL AS THE CONTROL SOFTWARE TO THE USE OF FLOCULATED MICRO-ORGANISMS (TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPED BY AIR LIQUIDE), AND THE OPTIMALIZATION OF THE STARTING-UP AND OPERATIONAL CONDITIONS OF THE MODIFIED PILOT.

OPERATING PARAMETERS WILL BE SIMULATED BY MICRO-CALCULATOR HP 85, OTHER CONTROLS AND MEASURES BEING DONE IN LABORATORY (SUGARS, ALCOHOL, CELLS DENSITY ETC).

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

Abay SA
Address
4,Rue De Genève
1140 Bruxelles
Belgium