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Abstract

It is known that external diffusional resistances are significant in immobilized enzyme packed-bed reactors, especially at large scales. Thus, the external mass transfer effects were analyzed for hydrogen peroxide decomposition by immobilized Terminox Ultra catalase in a packed-bed bioreactor. For this purpose the apparent reaction rate constants, kP, were determined by conducting experimental works at different superficial velocities, U, and temperatures. To develop an external mass transfer model the correlation between the Colburn factor, JD, and the Reynolds number, Re, of the type JD = K Re(n-1) was assessed and related to the mass transfer coefficient, kmL. The values of K and n were calculated from the dependence (am kp-1 - kR-1) vs. Re-1 making use of the intrinsic reaction rate constants, kR, determined before. Based on statistical analysis it was found that the mass transfer correlation JD = 0.972 Re-0.368 predicts experimental data accurately. The proposed model would be useful for the design and optimization of industrial-scale reactors.
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