Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Engineering Science


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering


Dr. Dimitre Karamanev


Despite the increasing importance of air-lift reactors, very little published information is available on how the ratio of aerated to non-aerated cross-sectional areas (Ad/Ar) of the reactor, and the aerating system affect the oxygen mass transfer, energy efficiency and other performance characteristics. The main goal of this work was to define the optimal operating conditions in terms of oxygen mass transfer, hydrodynamics and energy utilization in a rectangular air-lift reactor for use in a biological fuel cell by identifying its oxygen mass transfer coefficient and liquid circulation behavior. A new empirical model for the dependence of the mass transfer coefficient on the non-aerated to aerated compartment ratio in the air-lift reactor was developed and used for optimization of the operating conditions. We believe that this work may be useful for the design and optimization of biochemical and other processes that require air-lift reactors.