ISSN print edition: 0366-6352
ISSN electronic edition: 1336-9075
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Intensive 2-phenylethanol production in a hybrid system combined of a stirred tank reactor and an immersed extraction membrane module

Mário Mihaľ, Ramiro F. Goncalves, and Jozef Markoš

Institute of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Chemical and Food Technology, Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava, Radlinského 9, 812 37, Bratislava, Slovakia



Abstract: Bioconversion of L-phenylalanine to 2-phenylethanol using Saccharomyces cerevisiae is connected with the growth of biomass strongly limited by product inhibition. Therefore, fermentation can proceed only at low conversions of L-phenylalanine with very low yield of the desired product, which allows reaching the maximum concentration of 2-phenylethanol, 4 g L−1, in an ordinary batch, fed-batch, or chemostat bioreactor. To minimize capital and operating costs in the bioproduction of chemical specialties where the product inhibits the bioreaction, using a hybrid system based on the application of membrane extraction integrated in the bioreactor to remove the product is a suitable solution. Integration can be done by an external module for membrane extraction or, as a more efficient solution, by an extraction membrane module immersed directly in the bioreactor. Such a hybrid system can be used to remove 2-phenylethanol from the fermentation media and thus to overcome the product inhibition of the biotransformation process. In this paper, a hybrid system consisting of a stirred tank bioreactor (3.5 L) and an immersed extraction hollow fiber membrane module was studied. In the proposed system, the kinetics of 2-phenylethanol extraction from a water solution with and without biomass in the bioreactor to alkanes at different operational conditions was measured. Extraction kinetics was compared with the predictions obtained by a mathematical model. In the hybrid system, two extractive biotransformation experiments were performed and compared with that without product removal. Experimental data were also mathematically predicted with good accuracy between the simulation and the experiment.

Keywords: 2-phenylethanol – biotransformation – stirred tank bioreactor – hollow fiber – immersed module – membrane extraction

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.2478/s11696-014-0575-1


Chemical Papers 68 (12) 1656–1666 (2014)

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

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