Batch butanol fermentation from sugarcane molasses integrated with a gas stripping system: Effects of sparger types and gas flow rates

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Thanawat Thanapornsin
Patthranit Sanchanda
Lakkana Laopaiboon
Pattana Laopaiboon


High butanol levels inhibit microbial metabolism and acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation. Gas stripping
is a simple technique to separate solvents from a fermentation broth, which can improve butanol production during
fermentation. Sparger types in gas stripping systems may affect the liquid-gas mass transfer. The aim of this study
was to investigate the effects of sparger types (porous, ring and nozzle designs) and gas flow rates in a gas stripping
system on butanol production from sugarcane molasses by Clostridium beijerinckii TISTR1461 in a batch
fermentation. The gas stripping was started after 24 h of the fermentation, and the gas hold- up values were used
to calculate the liquid-gas mass transfer for the gas stripping system. Results showed that a maximum cumulative
butanol concentration (15.33 g/L) and butanol productivity (0.21 g/L.h) were achieved using a ring sparger at a
gas flow rate of 1. 0 L/min. Under these conditions, the gas hold-up value ( 0. 010) was maximal. The lowest
cumulative butanol concentration (13.17 g/L) and butanol productivity (0.18 g/L.h) were obtained using a nozzle
sparger, corresponding to a minimal gas hold-up value of 0. 003. In conclusion, the results demonstrated that the
higher the gas hold-up, the better the gas- liquid mass transfer attained. The fermentation using the gas stripping
system increased the butanol concentration by approximately 44% compared to that of a fermentation without gas


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