Investigation of lactate productivity in membrane bioreactors on C5/C6 carbohydrates

Wouter Van Hecke*, Suzanne Verhoef, Wim Groot, Marija Sarić, Bert van de Bunt, André de Haan, Heleen De Wever

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this work was to investigate the productivity of continuous lactate fermentations at increased cell densities on simulated lignocellulosic hydrolyzate and wheat straw hydrolyzates using Ca(OH)2suspensions as base. To this end, a semi-automated membrane bioreactor prototype with external tubular membranes was designed and constructed. Long-term continuous fermentations were run in membrane bioreactor mode and compared to batch and continuous mode. Fouling of the membranes proved to be the major bottleneck in the process. The semi-automated membrane module switch elegantly circumvented this problem, allowing constant operating conditions throughout extended periods of time. Maximal productivities of 30.5 g kg−1.h−1could be reached in the prototype during 30.5 h combined with an average lactate concentration of 85.4 g kg−1and complete consumption of C5 and C6 carbohydrates. In this fermentation zone, the (liquid) residence time was 2.8 h. These numbers demonstrate significant performance improvements in comparison with batch and (regular) continuous conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)336-345
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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