Dynamics of a continuous flash fermentation for butanol production
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The ABE (acetone, butanol, ethanol) fermentation is characterized by its low productivity. In this paper, this issue is overcome with an innovative industrial process that employs the flash fermentation technology. The process consists of three interconnected units, as follows: fermentor, cell retention system (tangential microfiltration) and vacuum flash vessel (responsible for the continuous recovery of butanol from the broth). The dynamic behaviour of the process is described by a nonlinear mathematical model with kinetic parameters determined experimentally. From simulations of the mathematical model the dynamic characteristics of the process were investigated. Analyzes of the open-loop dynamic behavior of the process, after step perturbations in the manipulated variables, determined the best control structures for the process. Copyright © 2010, AIDIC Servizi S.r.l.