New Fully Funded PhD Project Available (Extended Application Deadline: TBD)

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  Matthew Abbot

Postgraduate Student

Bioprocesses in Oscillatory Baffled Reactors


Oscillatory baffled reactors (OBRs) are able to generate plug flow conditions and uniform mixing, controlled independently from the net flow rate. This decoupling of the flow rate from mixing intensity is unique compared to other tubular reactors allowing longer residence time processes to occur. These characteristics make this novel reactor suitable for developing continuous bioprocesses that depend on the action of biological molecules, such as enzymes, or the growth of cell cultures, both of which can take up to several days to complete.

Another important advantage that OBRs offer is the reduced shear stresses, due to mixing, that are imposed on to internal fluids. Biological molecules and cells are particularly susceptible to shear stress due to their relatively large size. Developing bioprocesses in OBRs could increase reaction rates due to less inhibition caused by shear stresses which are greater in STRs run under comparable conditions.

The focus of this research project is the enzymatic degradation of lignocellulosic materials, such as crop residues, within OBRs run under continuous conditions. Products from this degradation can be fermented, using various organisms, into platform chemicals which include bioethanol. The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) will provide facilities and technical support, acting as the projectís industrial sponsor, with EPSRC funding the majority of the work.   


For more details please contact Prof Adam Harvey.





 Last modified: 04-Aug-2017