Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Brazilian Journal of Chemical Engineering]]> vol. 28 num. 4 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Recent trends in the modeling of cellulose hydrolysis</b>]]> This work reviews recent trends in the modeling of cellulose hydrolysis, within the perspective of application of kinetic models in a bioreactor engineering framework, including scale-up, design and process optimization. From this point of view, despite the phenomenological insight that mechanistic models can provide, the expectation that more detailed approaches could be a basis for extrapolations to different substrates and/or enzymatic pools is still not fulfilled. The complexity of the lignocellulosic matrix, the different mechanisms of catalytic action, the role of mass transfer limitations and the deviations from ideal mixing are important difficulties for the modeler, which will continue to impose more conservative approaches for scale-up. Nevertheless, the search for more robust models is a very important task, provided that the engineer is aware of their limitations. Data-driven, non-mechanistic models such as artificial neural networks, perhaps in combination with other approaches in the so-called hybrid models, is also a promising alternative. <![CDATA[<b>The inter-relationship between inoculum concentration, morphology, rheology and erythromycin productivity in submerged cultivation of <i>Saccharopolyspora erythraea</i></b>]]> Submerged cultivation of Saccharopolyspora erythraea, at different initial spore concentrations, was carried out to study the inter-relationship between inoculum concentration, morphology, rheology and erythromycin production. Pellet morphology was dominant in runs at 10³ and 10(4) spore/ml initial spore concentrations, whereas there was a significant presence of clump morphology in runs at initial spore concentrations of 10(5)-10(7) spore/ml. The S. erythraea cultivation broths exhibited Newtonian rheology in runs at initial spore concentrations of 10³ and 10(4) spore/ml, whereas at higher initial spore concentrations the rheological data could be fitted with the power law model. Runs in which clump morphology was predominant resulted in the highest erythromycin productivities. The findings of the present work suggest that the predominance of clump morphology, smaller sized clumps and, in the case of non-Newtonian S. erythraea cultivation broths, a decrease in viscosity enhance erythromycin production. <![CDATA[<b>Production of native flagellin from <i>Salmonella</i> Typhimurium in a bioreactor and purification by tangential ultrafiltration</b>]]> Flagellin is the structural protein and most abundant component of bacterial flagella. The flagellum filament contains around 20,000 - 100,000 subunits of 50 kDa flagellin that can have diverse biotechnological applications such as vaccine adjuvant and cellular protector during chemo- and radiotherapy. The main aim of this work was to study a production process of purified native FliC flagellin of Salmonella Typhimurium. The culture conditions in shakers were established with medium devoid of animal-derived components. In bioreactors, culture conditions were established in order to obtain flagellin from the culture supernatant by tangential ultrafiltration (TUF). The concentrated 750 kDa cut-off TUF fraction had a purification factor of 1.5 and a recovery yield of 52.2% for flagellin. The volumetric production of flagellin using the described procedure achieved around 307 mg/L of culture, which represented a significant improvement over previously reported methods. These results permit the development of production and purification processes that can be easily scaled up. <![CDATA[<b>High cell density strategy for poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) production by <i>Cupriavidus necator</i></b>]]> Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (P(3HB)) is a carbon and intracellular storage source for different microorganisms and its production can achieve high productivities by means of high cell density cultures. The aim of this study was to propose a high cell density strategy for P(3HB) production by Cupriavidus necator. The exponential growth phase demands an accurate control of the oxygen transfer system in the bioreactor, due to maximum specific growth rate (µXr), and, consequently, a maximum specific oxygen uptake rate (QO2), in addition to significant residual biomass (Xr) growth in high cell density cultures. In this context, this work investigated the strategy for obtaining high cell density, with the inclusion of a linear growth phase for P(3HB) production by C. necator in a fed-batch culture. The linear growth phase was included between the exponential growth phase and the P(3HB) production phase as a strategy to reduce the specific growth rate (µXr) and specific oxygen uptake rate (QO2), with constant residual biomass growth rate (d(V.Xr)/dt = k = constant) and linear increase of biomass. Three strategies of culture were performed. The results showed that a high residual biomass concentration (30 gXr.L-1) can be reached by the inclusion of the linear growth strategy and specific growth rates (µXr) between 0.08 and 0.05 h-1, at the beginning of the production phase, are necessary to attain a high P(3HB) productivity. <![CDATA[<b>Ethanol production from sorghum grains [<i>Sorghum bicolor</i> (L.) Moench]</b>: <b>evaluation of the enzymatic hydrolysis and the hydrolysate fermentability</b>]]> The production of ethanol from sorghum grains was investigated in the present work. Initially, starch enzymatic hydrolysis was investigated using commercial α-amylase and glucoamylase, considering particle size, solid:liquid ratio and enzyme load as variables. The hydrolysate, in the best conditions (73 U of α-amylase/g grain and 1150 U glucoamylase/g grain), contained glucose at a concentration of approximately 250 g/L, which was fermented to produce ethanol in a bioreactor in batch mode. Using an industrial strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the maximum ethanol concentration produced was roughly 106 g.L-1 in 24 h of fermentation, resulting in a volumetric productivity of 4.4 g.L-1.h-1 and a product yield based on the substrate consumed (0.499 g.g-1) close to the theoretical. <![CDATA[<b>Heterogeneous fenton process using the mineral hematite for the discolouration of a reactive dye solution</b>]]> This work reports a study on the heterogeneous Fenton reaction using hematite powder (Fe2O3) in suspension for the discolouration of the reactive dye Drimarene Red X-6BN in aqueous solutions. The efficiency of the process was studied as a function of the experimental conditions: initial pH; H2O2 dose; and hematite powder concentration; all of which showed a strong effect on the reaction kinetics. Under the best experimental conditions: pH = 2.5; H2O2 dose = 800 mg/L; and [Hematite] = 20 g/L, it was possible to remove about 99% of the initial colour in 120 minutes in a batch reaction at 25ºC. The analysis of the kinetic results suggests that the reaction is initiated by heterogeneous generation of free radicals on the hematite surface, but as soluble iron (III) and iron (II) species are released into the solution during the course of the reaction, a simultaneous homogeneous Fenton reaction step propagates and contributes to the overall reaction. <![CDATA[<b>Applicability of anthraquinone-2,6-disulfonate (AQDS) to enhance colour removal in mesophilic UASB reactors treating textile wastewater</b>]]> This work assessed the applicability of the redox mediator anthraquinone-2,6-disulfonate (AQDS) to enhance colour removal in mesophilic UASB reactors treating textile wastewater under different operational conditions, such as different electron donor (ethanol) concentrations and different HRT. The anaerobic reactors were able to remove reasonably well the colour of the textile wastewater (35-63%) even when operated with a relatively short HRT (6 h), being a good option for textile effluents pre-treatment. Aditionally, colour removal efficiency was positively influenced not only by the addition of ethanol as external electron donor, but also by the initial wastewater absorbance. Although the applicability of AQDS is reported in the literature to enhance remarkably colour removal from synthetic dye-containing wastewaters, especially for recalcitrant azo dyes, the same effect was not evident in the present study with the textile wastewater tested, since the reactors did not show significant differences on decolourisation capacity. <![CDATA[<b>Anaerobic treatment of cellulose bleach plant wastewater</b>: <b>chlorinated organics and genotoxicity removal</b>]]> This study assessed the removal efficiency of organic matter and how it relates to the decrease of toxic and mutagenic effects when an anaerobic reactor is used to treat the bleaching effluent from two kraft pulp mills. Parameters such as COD (chemical oxygen demand), DOC (dissolved organic carbon), AOX (adsorbable organic halogen), ASL (acid soluble lignin), color, chlorides, total phenols and absorbance values in the UV-VIS spectral region were measured. The acute and chronic toxicity and genetic toxicity assessments were performed with Daphnia similis, Ceriodaphnia sp. and Allium cepa L, respectively. The removal efficiency of organic matter measured as COD, ranged from 45% to 55%, while AOX removal ranged from 40% to 45%. The acute toxic and chronic effects, as well as the cytotoxic, genotoxic and mutagenic effects, decrease as the biodegradable fraction of the organics is removed. These results, together with the organic load measurement of the effluents of the anaerobic treatment, indicate that these effluents are recalcitrant but not toxic. As expected, color increased when the anaerobic treatment was applied. However, the colored compounds are of microbial origin and do not cause an increase in genotoxic effects. To discharge the wastewater, it is necessary to apply a physico-chemical or aerobic biological post-treatment to the effluents of the anaerobic reactor. <![CDATA[<b>Flooding characteristics in pulsed packed extraction columns</b>]]> Flooding behavior of a 76.2 mm diameter pulsed packed column has been determined using four different liquid-liquid systems. The effects of pulsation intensity, flow ratio, interfacial tension, and packing geometry on flood point have been investigated. The results showed that the maximum throughput of the column decreases with an increase in pulsation intensity and flow ratio, while it increases with an increase in interfacial tension. The applicability of the characteristic velocity method to this type of column for the analysis of the flood point was examined and a marked deviation was observed between experimental results and values calculated by this method. Two new empirical correlations for flooding velocity and holdup at flooding are derived in terms of operating variables, packing characteristics, and physical properties of the liquid systems. Good agreement between prediction and experiments has been found for all operating conditions that were investigated. <![CDATA[<b>Mesoporous molecular sieve MCM-41 synthesis from fluoride media</b>]]> A study of the synthesis of MCM-41 mesoporous molecular sieves in fluoride media, having no alkaline metal ions, was performed by changing the gel composition and crystallization temperature and time. X-ray diffraction and nitrogen adsorption analyses showed that highly ordered MCM-41 samples were obtained from gels with a NH4OH/SiO2 molar ratio in the 3.25-4.3 range (room temperature synthesis) or in the 4.3-20 range (24 hours at 373 K). During calcination, unit cell shrinkage, caused by high temperature polycondensation of the SiOH groups, was observed for all samples. The samples synthesized at high temperature (373 K) or using low pH gels (7.5) underwent lower unit cell shrinkage than those obtained at room temperature or high pH (9.0), indicating that the former samples had lower SiOH groups content than the latter. These highly-ordered samples showed large surface area (ca. 1100 m²/g) and pore volume (ca. 0.80 cm³/g), also presenting a narrow pore size distribution. Due to higher silicate polycondensation and a thicker pore wall, the samples synthesized at 373 K were more hydrothermally stable than those obtained at room temperature. <![CDATA[<b>Recovery of hydrocarbon liquid from waste high density polyethylene by thermal pyrolysis</b>]]> Thermal degradation of waste plastics in an inert atmosphere has been regarded as a productive method, because this process can convert waste plastics into hydrocarbons that can be used either as fuels or as a source of chemicals. In this work, waste high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic was chosen as the material for pyrolysis. A simple pyrolysis reactor system has been used to pyrolyse waste HDPE with the objective of optimizing the liquid product yield at a temperature range of 400ºC to 550ºC. Results of pyrolysis experiments showed that, at a temperature of 450ºC and below, the major product of the pyrolysis was oily liquid which became a viscous liquid or waxy solid at temperatures above 475ºC. The yield of the liquid fraction obtained increased with the residence time for waste HDPE. The liquid fractions obtained were analyzed for composition using FTIR and GC-MS. The physical properties of the pyrolytic oil show the presence of a mixture of different fuel fractions such as gasoline, kerosene and diesel in the oil. <![CDATA[<b>Desalination of aqueous solutions by LTA and MFI zeolite membranes using pervaporation method</b>]]> LTA and MFI zeolite membranes were hydrothermally grown on the surface of an α-alumina porous support. The synthesized membranes were used for removal of cationic and anionic species from aqueous solutions by the pervaporation method. The perfection of the membranes was improved by employing the multi-stage synthesis method. The membranes were characterized by XRD, SEM and IR methods. The membranes were initially evaluated by the pervaporation separation of water from aqueous 2-propanol mixtures. The separation factors obtained were 7081 and 105 for NaA and ZSM-5 membranes, respectively. The ability of membranes for desalination of some aqueous solutions containing I-, Cs+ and Sr2+ ions was examined in various conditions. These ionic species were chosen because of their importance in the nuclear sciences. Both membranes effectively removed (more than 99 wt%) I-, Cs+ and Sr2+ from their singlesalt solutions (0.001mol dm-3) over a temperature range of 298-338 K. The effects of parameters such as time and temperature on the separation factors and fluxes were investigated. This work shows that, due to their excellent chemical, thermal and mechanical stability, the zeolitic membranes are useful for desalination of aqueous solutions and treating saline wastewaters by pervaporation. Therefore, this method has the ability to desalinate harsh environment solutions involving strong solvent and radioactive components. <![CDATA[<b>Solubility improvement of an anthelmintic benzimidazole carbamate by association with dendrimers</b>]]> The improvement of aqueous solubility of methyl (5-[propylthio]-1H-benzimidazol-2-yl) carbamate, albendazole (ABZ) using polyamidoamine (PAMAM) dendrimers as solubility enhancers was investigated. Full generation PAMAM dendrimers with amine terminal groups, (G3), with hydroxyl terminal groups (G3OH) and half generation PAMAM dendrimers with carboxylate terminal groups (G2.5 and G3.5), were chosen for this study. The nature of dendrimer-ABZ association was investigated by UV absorption, fluorescence emission measurements and by ¹H-NMR spectroscopy. The results obtained show that these polymeric structures have the capacity to enhance the solubility of ABZ, both lipophilic and specific hydrogen bond interactions contributing to the guest-host association. Although all studied dendrimers have hydrophobic internal nanoenvironments with similar dimensions, their surfaces differ significantly and the nature and the localization of the interactions involved in ABZ-dendrimer association depend on the type of terminal groups. <![CDATA[<b>Energetic and economic evaluation of waste glycerol cogeneration in Brazil</b>]]> Glycerol is an important by-product of biodiesel production. It is used in many industrial segments, but the increasing production of this chemical has become an issue of concern. Many studies have been done to give new applicability to this product; a promising field is the usage of glycerol for energy production. Therefore, this study evaluates the technical and economic feasibility of a new and potential proposal at the national level, the generation of electricity and heat, through a cogeneration system using glycerol. The results demonstrate the viability of this proposal, since the payback on capital invested obtained was approximately 4 years, with the possibility of reduction to 3 years when installed in regions with low infrastructure.