The performance and stability of a two-phase partitioning bioscrubber (TPPB) containing 33% (vol.) n-hexadecane as an immiscible phase was investigated during 30 days of continuous gaseous benzene treatment. Elimination capacities of 141 ± 12 g/m3 h were achieved by Achromobacter xylosoxidans Y234 while maintaining >99% removal throughout. A new steady-state operating strategy that limits excessive biomass production by directing substrate consumption to maintenance energy has eliminated the requirement for frequent exchange of liquid contents. Simplifying the operating protocols in this manner has dramatically reduced material costs and rendered the TPPB operational requirements as more comparable (in terms of frequency of required operator inputs) with other vapor-phase bioreactors. The practicality of the proposed simplification to the operating protocol was confirmed by demonstrating that intermediate metabolites were not accumulating in the TPPB, inorganic nutrient requirements were readily predictable, and that high culture viability could be sustained for prolonged cell retention times (30 days).
- Partitioning bioreactor
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