Free surface oxygen transfer in large aspect ratio unbaffled bio-reactors, with or without draft-tube
•Oxygen mass transfer in high aspect ratio unbaffled bioreactors is presented.•Increase of aspect ratio is found to slightly affect OTR.•Draft tube introduction improves maximum OTR in non-aerated conditions.
It is widely accepted that animal cell damage in aerated bioreactors is mainly related to the bursting of bubbles at the air–liquid interface. A viable alternative to sparged bioreactors may be represented by uncovered unbaffled stirred tanks, which have been recently found to be able to provide sufficient mass transfer through the deep free surface vortex which takes place under agitation conditions. As a matter of fact, if the vortex is not allowed to reach impeller blades, no bubble formation and subsequent bursting at the free-surface, along with relevant cells damage, occurs.In this work oxygen transfer performance of large aspect ratio unbaffled stirred bioreactors, either equipped or not with an internal draft tube, is presented, in view of their use as biochemical reactors especially suited for shear sensitive cell cultivation.
Journal: Biochemical Engineering Journal - Volume 100, 15 August 2015, Pages 16–22