Influence of Operating Conditions and Vessel Size on Oxygen Transfer During Cellulase Production

Daniel J. Schell, Jody Farmer, Jenny Hamilton, Bob Lyons, James D. McMillan, Juan C. Sáez, Arun Tholudur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus Citations


The production of low-cost cellulase enzyme is a key step in the development of an enzymatic-based process for conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to ethanol. Although abundant information is available on cellulase production, little of this work has examined oxygen transfer. We investigated oxygen transfer during the growth of Trichoderma reesei, a cellulase-producing microorganism, on soluble and insoluble substrates in vessel sizes from 7 to 9000 L. Oxygen uptake rates and volumetric mass transfer coefficients (kLa) were determined using mass spectroscopy to measure off gas composition. Experimentally measured kLa values were found to compare favorably with a kLa correlation available in the literature for a non-Newtonian fermentation broth during the period of heavy cell growth.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)627-642
Number of pages16
JournalApplied Biochemistry and Biotechnology - Part A Enzyme Engineering and Biotechnology
StatePublished - 2001

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-580-30581


  • Cellulase
  • Cellulose
  • Ethanol
  • Mass transfer coefficient
  • Oxygen transfer


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