Rubens Maciel Filho

Publications

1 CFD Simulation of Hydrodynamic Behaviors and Gas-Liquid Mass Transfer in a Stirred Airlift Bioreactor

Authors: Sérgio S. de Jesus, Edgar Leonardo Martínez, Aulus R.R. Binelli, Aline Santana, Rubens Maciel Filho

Abstract:

The speed profiles, gas holdup (eG) and global oxygen transfer coefficient (kLa) from a stirred airlift bioreactor using water as the fluid model, was investigated by computational fluid dynamics modeling. The parameters predicted by the computer model were validated with the experimental dates. The CFD results were very close to those obtained experimentally. During the simulation it was verified a prevalent impeller effect at low speeds, propelling a large volume of fluid against the walls of the vessel, which without recirculation, results in low values of eG and kLa; however, by increasing air velocity, the impeller effect is smaller with the air flow being greater, in the region of the riser, causing fluid recirculation, which explains the increase in eG and kLa.

Keywords: Hydrodynamics, CFD, mass transfer, stirred airlift bioreactor

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Abstracts

3 Structural and Morphological Characterization of the Biomass of Aquatics Macrophyte (Egeria densa) Submitted to Thermal Pretreatment

Authors: Rubens Maciel Filho, Joyce Cruz Ferraz Dutra, Marcele Fonseca Passos, Douglas Fernandes Barbin, Gustavo Mockaitis

Abstract:

The search for alternatives to control hunger in the world, generated a major environmental problem. Intensive systems of fish production can cause an imbalance in the aquatic environment, triggering the phenomenon of eutrophication. Currently, there are many forms of growth control aquatic plants, such as mechanical withdrawal, however some difficulties arise for their final destination. The Egeria densa is a species of submerged aquatic macrophyte-rich in cellulose and low concentrations of lignin. By applying the concept of second generation energy, which uses lignocellulose for energy production, the reuse of these aquatic macrophytes (Egeria densa) in the biofuels production can turn an interesting alternative. In order to make lignocellulose sugars available for effective fermentation, it is important to use pre-treatments in order to separate the components and modify the structure of the cellulose and thus facilitate the attack of the microorganisms responsible for the fermentation. Therefore, the objective of this research work was to evaluate the structural and morphological transformations occurring in the biomass of aquatic macrophytes (E.densa) submitted to a thermal pretreatment. The samples were collected in an intensive fish growing farm, in the low São Francisco dam, in the northeastern region of Brazil. After collection, the samples were dried in a 65 0C ventilation oven and milled in a 5mm micron knife mill. A duplicate assay was carried, comparing the in natural biomass with the pretreated biomass with heat (MT). The sample (MT) was submitted to an autoclave with a temperature of 1210C and a pressure of 1.1 atm, for 30 minutes. After this procedure, the biomass was characterized in terms of degree of crystallinity and morphology, using X-ray diffraction (XRD) techniques and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), respectively. The results showed that there was a decrease of 11% in the crystallinity index (% CI) of the pretreated biomass, leading to the structural modification in the cellulose and greater presence of amorphous structures. Increases in porosity and surface roughness of the samples were also observed. These results suggest that biomass may become more accessible to the hydrolytic enzymes of fermenting microorganisms. Therefore, the morphological transformations caused by the thermal pretreatment may be favorable for a subsequent fermentation and, consequently, a higher yield of biofuels. Thus, the use of thermally pretreated aquatic macrophytes (E.densa) can be an environmentally, financially and socially sustainable alternative. In addition, it represents a measure of control for the aquatic environment, which can generate income (biogas production) and maintenance of fish farming activities in local communities.

Keywords: biofuels, Morphology, Crystallinity, aquatics macrophyte, pretreatment thermal

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2 Using Hemicellulosic Liquor from Sugarcane Bagasse to Produce Second Generation Lactic Acid

Authors: Rubens Maciel Filho, Regiane A. Oliveira, Carlos E. Vaz Rossell

Abstract:

Lactic acid, besides a valuable chemical may be considered a platform for other chemicals. In fact, the feasibility of hemicellulosic sugars as feedstock for lactic acid production process, may represent the drop of some of the barriers for the second generation bioproducts, especially bearing in mind the 5-carbon sugars from the pre-treatment of sugarcane bagasse. Bearing this in mind, the purpose of this study was to use the hemicellulosic liquor from sugarcane bagasse as a substrate to produce lactic acid by fermentation. To release of sugars from hemicellulose it was made a pre-treatment with a diluted sulfuric acid in order to obtain a xylose's rich liquor with low concentration of inhibiting compounds for fermentation (≈ 67% of xylose, ≈ 21% of glucose, ≈ 10% of cellobiose and arabinose, and around 1% of inhibiting compounds as furfural, hydroxymethilfurfural and acetic acid). The hemicellulosic sugars associated with 20 g/L of yeast extract were used in a fermentation process with Lactobacillus plantarum to produce lactic acid. The fermentation process pH was controlled with automatic injection of Ca(OH)2 to keep pH at 6.00. The lactic acid concentration remained stable from the time when the glucose was depleted (48 hours of fermentation), with no further production. While lactic acid is produced occurs the concomitant consumption of xylose and glucose. The yield of fermentation was 0.933 g lactic acid /g sugars. Besides, it was not detected the presence of by-products, what allows considering that the microorganism uses a homolactic fermentation to produce its own energy using pentose-phosphate pathway. Through facultative heterofermentative metabolism the bacteria consume pentose, as is the case of L. plantarum, but the energy efficiency for the cell is lower than during the hexose consumption. This implies both in a slower cell growth, as in a reduction in lactic acid productivity compared with the use of hexose. Also, L. plantarum had shown to have a capacity for lactic acid production from hemicellulosic hydrolysate without detoxification, which is very attractive in terms of robustness for an industrial process. Xylose from hydrolyzed bagasse and without detoxification is consumed, although the hydrolyzed bagasse inhibitors (especially aromatic inhibitors) affect productivity and yield of lactic acid. The use of sugars and the lack of need for detoxification of the C5 liquor from sugarcane bagasse hydrolyzed is a crucial factor for the economic viability of second generation processes. Taking this information into account, the production of second generation lactic acid using sugars from hemicellulose appears to be a good alternative to the complete utilization of sugarcane plant, directing molasses and cellulosic carbohydrates to produce 2G-ethanol, and hemicellulosic carbohydrates to produce 2G-lactic acid.

Keywords: Fermentation, sugarcane, lactic acid, hemicellulosic sugars

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1 Oxygen Transfer in Viscous Non-Newtonian Liquid in a Hybrid Bioreactor

Authors: Sérgio S. de Jesus, Aline Santana, Rubens Maciel Filho

Abstract:

Global oxygen transfer coefficient (kLa) was characterized in a mechanically agitated airlift bio reactor. The experiments were carried out in an airlift bio reactor (3.2 L) with internal re circulation (a concentric draft-tube airlift vessel device); the agitation is carried out through a turbine Rushton impeller located along with the gas sparger in the region comprised in the riser. The experiments were conducted using xanthan gum (0.6%) at 250 C and a constant rotation velocity of 0 and 800 rpm, as well as in the absence of agitation (airlift mode); the superficial gas velocity varied from 0.0157 to 0.0262 ms-1. The volumetric oxygen transfer coefficient dependence of the rotational speed revealed that the presence of agitation increased up to two times the kLa value.

Keywords: mass transfer, aeration, non-Newtonian fluids, stirred airlift bioreactor

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