Mass transfer through a biocatalytic membrane reactor

Endre Nagy, Anita Lepossa, Zsolt Prettl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


The mass transport through biocatalytic membrane reactor has been investigated. The enzyme or living cells were immobilized in the porous membrane matrix, and the substrate(s) was fed by convective and diffusive flows through the membrane layer. The Michaelis-Menten kinetics, and its limiting cases-namely, the first-order and zero-order reactions-were investigated. The inlet and outlet mass-transfer rates were defined for all three cases in two operating modes, namely, without mass transport into the immiscible sweep phase (Model A) and with mass transport into the sweep phase (Model B). The difference between these modes is in the boundary condition at the outlet side of membrane reactor. In case of Model A, the concentration gradient is equal to zero, while that is larger than zero for Model B. In the latter case, the outlet concentration is determined not only by the reaction conditions in the membrane but by the flow conditions in the sweep phase on the permeate side. Analytical approaches of the solution were developed to evaluate the Michaelis-Menten kinetics with a single substrate and with two substrates. Concentration distributions and mass-transfer rates are compared by applying the different reaction orders and operating modes. As a case study, the model equations have been applied to calculate the kinetic resolution of the (S)-ibuprofen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1635-1646
Number of pages12
JournalIndustrial and Engineering Chemistry Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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