Energy Dissipation and Shear Rate in Airlift Reactors

ALRs are being increasingly used in processes involving shear-sensitive cells (mammalian, insect, and plant cell cultures) (3,11,14,18,21,28,29). This situation has created the need for considering shear stress as one of the parameters relevant in the design of such reactors. Although the a priori evaluation of shear rates is a matter that has been studied for many years in stirred tanks, information on this subject is scanty for pneumatically stirred reactors. The first approach made in this direction in pneumatically agitated vessels was that of Nishikawa et al. (70), who were interested in the problem of heat transfer to a non-Newtonian liquid in a bubble column. This study was extended to mass transfer by Nakanoh and Yoshida (132), who proposed the expression:

This expression has been widely accepted despite the criticism sometimes leveled at it (62,68,123,133). Some modifications have thus been proposed (92,95,134), which, like the original approach, were based on data for bubble

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