Hybrid model for ethanol production via syngas fermentation: Coupling between a thermodynamics-based black-box model of bacterial reactions and mass transfer in a large-scale bubble column bioreactor

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Abstract

The present study describes the procedure followed to construct, to quantitatively validate and the utilization of a mathematical model to simulate ethanol production inside a large-scale bubble column bioreactor fed by syngas of two possible compositions i.e., pure CO and a 3:1 mixture of H2 and CO2. The model is structured by i) a black-box model for catabolic ethanol production and biomass growth and ii) a mass transfer model of the bioreactor; both parts are combined through hyperbolic uptake kinetics for CO and H2. Thermodynamics are used to study the production of energy through catabolism and to estimate biomass yields and maximum specific CO and H2 uptake rates. The simulation identifies a strong dependence of bioreactor performance and mass transfer rate of CO and H2. When mass transfer rate is above the 90 % of the maximum estimated values, ethanol productivity would reach 4.7 g/L/h, gas utilization would be 22 % and, the fermentation process plus the distillation of the product would require 7 MW/kg of ethanol produced. H2/CO2 fermentation achieved 20 and 30 % higher productivity and gas utilization than CO fermentation, respectively. Moreover, gas compression and distillation of ethanol are the largest contributors to energetic costs.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEuropean Biomass Conference and Exhibition Proceedings
Editors A. Grassi, N. Scarlat , P. Helm, M. d.G. Carvalho
PublisherETA-Florence Renewable Energies
Pages1408-1417
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event27th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition, EUBCE 2019 - Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 27 May 201930 May 2019

Publication series

NameEuropean Biomass Conference and Exhibition Proceedings

Conference

Conference27th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition, EUBCE 2019
CountryPortugal
CityLisbon
Period27/05/1930/05/19

Keywords

  • Biothermodynamics
  • Bubble column
  • Ethanol
  • Simulation
  • Syngas fermentation

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    Almeida-Benalcázar, E., Noorman, H., Maciel Filho, R., & Posada-Duque, J. (2019). Hybrid model for ethanol production via syngas fermentation: Coupling between a thermodynamics-based black-box model of bacterial reactions and mass transfer in a large-scale bubble column bioreactor. In A. Grassi, N. Scarlat , P. Helm, & M. D. G. Carvalho (Eds.), European Biomass Conference and Exhibition Proceedings (pp. 1408-1417). (European Biomass Conference and Exhibition Proceedings). ETA-Florence Renewable Energies.