274200 Evaluation of a Pilot-Scale Facility for Biocrude Production by Activated Sludge Cultures Via Lignocelullose Sugar Fermentation and Downstream Recovery Processes

Wednesday, October 31, 2012: 9:58 AM
Shadyside (Omni )
Andro Mondala1, Rafael Hernandez1, Todd French1, William Holmes1, Magan Green1, Linda McFarland1, Larry Pearson2, Jesse Simmons1, Robert Glenn1 and Brady Biggers1, (1)Dave C. Swalm School of Chemical Engineering, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS, (2)Institute for Clean Energy Technology, Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS

This paper will present results on fermentation experiments and downstream product recovery processes in a pilot-scale facility designed for the production of biocrude by activated sludge cultures and oleaginous microorganisms via lignocellulose sugar fermentation. The pilot plant consists of three mixing/holding tanks for sugar, media, and clean-in-place (CIP) solutions; twin 500-L bioreactors with full pH, dissolved oxygen, aeration, agitation, and temperature control designed for batch fermentation and can be operated under semicontinuous feeding mode; and the downstream processing equipment consisting of a 500 L/h membrane separator used for increasing biomass concentration in the fermentation broth, a spray dryer, a solvent extraction vessel, and a solvent recovery/biocrude concentration unit. Samples will be obtained from the bioreactors for laboratory analysis of biomass and lipid yields, and residual sugar and nutrient concentrations. Samples from the membrane separator and spray dryer will be analyzed for moisture content and moisture removal efficiencies will be calculated. The dried biomass that will be obtained from the spray dryer will be subjected to solvent extraction to separate the biocrude from the biomass, and the solvent-biocrude mixture will be concentrated using the vacuum-operated solvent recovery unit. Overall and component mass balances will be conducted for the whole pilot facility and for each piece of equipment. The experimental data will then be compared with kinetic model predictions to evaluate the performance of the pilot-scale operations compared with the bench-scale trials.

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