Punima Puri

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The choice of a reactor type depends on the form of enzyme (free or immobilized) to be used kinetics of reaction the scale of operation. In an enzyme reactor, the highest specific enzyme activity is desirable. It is considered an added bonus if the support that is used also aides in separation. One approach is to use a molecular sieve as the support and pulse the reactor bed with the alternating passage of substrate solution and water


It is preferable to use supports that are Non-biodegradable such as glass, silica, Celite, Bentonite, alumina, or titanium oxide, if possible. Even the linkages between enzyme and support can be non-biodegradable, as they are in the case of titanium. In some of these supports the physical nature of the surface becomes a major problem.

 some supports that form excellent packed beds fail to do so when coated with enzyme. Particles which ideally self-suspend in a fluid bed may form aggregates during use which will require more power to pump through substrate. Problems were encountered using porous glass supports even that the glass itself could dissolve.    . This problem can be been eliminated by treatment of the glass surface with zirconium.

It so happens that the enzymes for which this technique would be useful are also those which in some cases benefit in having the enzyme immobilized on a porous support.  . The result is that bands of unused substrate and product progress down the column. .

g. (a) packed bed reactors.conversions are as follows: (i) stirred tank reactors.. e.ENZYME REACTORS   A vessel employed to carry out the desired conversion using an enzyme is called enzyme reactor. (iii) continuous flow reactors. (ii) membrane reactors. Several different types of reactors are available. The different types of reactors used for enzymemediated . .

The immobilized enzyme is placed in a container with the reactants.BATCH REACTOR  It is the simplest type of reactor.    . Many modifications of these reactors have been designed to simplify recovery and reuse of the enzyme composite. Some stirring or agitation of reaction mixture is also required. and the reaction is allowed to proceed until the desired level of conversion is reached.

etc. fixed baffles to improve mixing.  Efficient arrangements are provided to maintain temperature.  These reactors are used in batch mode. of the reaction mix. and free enzymes can be employed. usually.  .STIRRED TANK REACTORS These reactors are simple  consist of a tank containing a stirrer and. pH.

BATCH REACTORS MAY INCLUDE: Stirred Tank for Soluble Enzymes  Stirred Tank for Immobilized Enzymes  Stirred Tank with Immobilized Enzyme Basket Paddles  Stirred Tank with Immobilized Enzyme Basket Baffles  Total Recycle Packed Bed Reactor  Total Recycle Fluidized Bed Reactor  .

BATCH STR  A batch stirred tank reactor is the simplest type of reactor. a turbine wing or a propeller. The batch stirred tank reactor is illustrated below:  . It is composed of a reactor and a mixer such as a stirrer.

.   The batch system is generally suitable for the production of rather small amounts of chemicals. However. This reactor is useful for substrate solutions of high viscosity and for immobilized enzymes with relatively low activity. a problem that arises is that an immobilized enzyme tends to decompose upon physical stirring.


CONTINUOUS REACTORS MAY INCLUDE:           Stirred Tank Reactor with Filtration Recovery Stirred Tank Reactor with Settling Tank Recovery Stirred Tank Reactor with Immobilized Enzyme Basket Paddles Stirred Tank Reactor with Ultra filtration Recovery Packed Bed Reactor Packed bed with recycle Flat Bed Reactor Filter Bed Reactor Fluidized Bed Reactor. Membrane Reactor using hollow fibers .



FIXED BED REACTORS These are most widely used for large scale commercial operations. (ii) glucose isomerase and (iii) lactase. There are many types of fixed bed reactors including those with packed bed of particular material to which enzyme is coupled. These reactors will keep on dominating the large scale commercial application due to their (i) high efficiency and (ii) ease and simplicity of operation. . Different companies use these reactors for enzymes like (i) aminocylase.

This can be overcome by decreasing velocity of solution by different methods.  . Glucose isomerase and lactase have been shown to double their efficiency due to fluidization when compared with fixed beds. enzyme system is fluidized by the upward flowing of substrate solution. although small duration of contact may be insufficient for the desired conversion.  This helps in eliminating any plugging of enzyme system.FLUIDIZED-BED REACTOR  In these reactors.




automatic control and operation  Reduction of labor costs  Stabilization of operating conditions  Easy quality control of products  .ADVANTAGES A continuous packed bed reactor has the following advantages over a batch packed bed reactor:  Easy.

and the effect of the column dimensions on the reaction rate.  There are three substrate flow possibilities in a packed bed and they are illustrated below:  Downward flow method  Upward flow method  Recycling method  . it is necessary to consider the pressure drop across the packed bed or column.CONTINUOUS PACKED BED REACTORS most widely used reactors for immobilized enzymes and immobilized microbial cells.  In these systems.

g.  Generally. membrane reactors use a hollow fiber of 200 /lm diameter with 50 /lm thick membranes.  e. .. dialysis membrane. to contain the enzyme in a chamber into which the substrate moves and the product moves out.MEMBRANE REACTORS  A membrane reactor uses a membrane.

These reactors can also be used in a continuous mode and the substrate flow rate is adjusted to achieve the desired level of reaction. usually these reactors use soluble enzymes. The substrate is kept in the main chamber of the reactor. Each reactor contains hundreds of such fibers into which the enzyme is retained.   .

(iii) allow easy replacement of enzymes. The chief limitations of these systems are: (i) regular replacement of membranes adds to cost (ii) the need for substrate diffusion through the membrane often limits its applications . (ii) permit the use of more than one enzyme to catalyze a chain of reactions.ADVANTAGES  AND LIMITATIONS (i) easy to establish. and (iv) are useful in producing small scale (g to kg) quantities.


the product passes through an Ultra Filtration Unit where the enzyme is removed and recycled back into the reactor.COMBINED  CSTR/UF REACTOR A combined CSTR/UF reactor is a combination of a continuously stirred tank reactor and an Ultra Filtration Unit.  However.  This type of reactor begins as a typical CSTR. .


There are other possibilities for similar reactors. However.In a combined CSTR/UF reactor the enzymes are immobilized in that they can not leave the reactor because of the filtration unit. One example of this is for the conversion of benzylpenicillin to 6aminopenicillanic acid by penicillin amidase. the combined CSTR/UF reactor has proven useful for several types of reactions where a typical immobilized enzyme would not be as effective. if there is any. to pass through while holding back the enzyme. such as combined reactorseparators. The Ultra Filtration Unit contains a membrane which provides a semipermeable barrier which allows products and unreacted substrate. This allows continuous processing with free enzymes in the CSTR. .

 .RECYCLE REACTOR  A recycle reactor is a reactor that is not seen very often. which could not be processed using other reactor types. It is very important to chemical engineering because it allows some substrates to be processed. but is very important to consider when studying immobilized enzymes.


 .  When gas is produced during an enzyme reaction.  For industrial applications. upward flow is preferred.  This is because the recycling method allows the substrate solution to be passed through the column at a desired velocity.The recycling method is advantageous when the linear velocity of the substrate solution affects the reaction flow rate. upward flow is generally preferred over downward flow because it does not compress the beds in enzyme columns as downward flow does.

 This can obviously only be used in a batch process. the volume of the reactor would increase to infinity.  . because if the entire product stream is recycled back into the reactor in a continuous reactor.In a recycle reactor a portion of the product stream is recycled and mixed with the inlet flow to the reactor  If the entire product stream is recycled back to the inlet stream. then it is called a total recycle reactor.

 .  Recycle reactors also allow the reactor to operate at high fluid velocities. These reactors continue to move the same substrate through the reactor so that the effective contact time is high enough to allow the substrate to be processed. . A recycle reactor is simply a reactor. with a recycle stream.This type of rector is used when you have a substrate that cannot be completely processed on a single pass. This is important because it minimizes the bulk mass transfer resistance to the transport of the substrate. such as with an insoluble substrate. such as a CSTR or fluidized-bed reactor.


 This device is suitable for a substrate of high molecular weight and a product of low molecular weight. A hollow fiber device can also be used and its characteristics are essentially the same as those of an ultrafiltration membrane   . no improvement in the stability of the enzyme can be expected. The enzyme used here is soluble.

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