Collect. Czech. Chem. Commun. 1990, 55, 2192-2198

Design of continuous flow immobilized bacterial cells reactor for production of L-malic acid

Marie Fialováa, Jindřich Zahradníka and Hana Kučerováb

a Institute of Chemical Process Fundamentals, Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, 165 02 Prague 6-Suchdol
b Research Institute of Canning and Distilling Industry, 147 12 Prague 4


An experimental study was carried out, aimed at establishing an engineering data base for the optimum design of a pilot-plant fixed bed reactor for continuous biotransformation of natrium fumarate to L-malic acid catalysed by immobilized bacterial cells. Cells Corynebacterium sp. immobilized in calcium alginate were used for experiments. Effective reaction kinetics including the effect of transport phenomena in the bed was determined and conditions of the safe conversion data scale up were defined. Regarding the requirements of continuous production, long-term stability of the biocatalytic system was tested at operation conditions corresponding to constant degree of substrate conversion at the reactor outlet. Quantitative evidence on changes of the effective reaction kinetics (i.e. on the decrease of the effective rate constant value) over the three-months production period was obtained from this experimental run. Decisive design parameters of a pilot-plant reactor were calculated for estimated production of 20 t of L-malic acid per 90 days period (maximum time of economic biocatalyst utilization).