There are various different ways in which bioreactors can be agitated, and therefore bioreactors in this group may have quite different appearances. The efficiency of mixing and aeration will vary significantly amongst the various designs. Figure 9.1 shows how these bioreactors can be divided into subgroups depending on how the agitation is achieved.
The general design variables associated with well-mixed bioreactors are:
• the geometrical shape and dimensions of the bioreactor;
• the design of the agitator;
• the presence of a water jacket;
• the presence of internal heat transfer surfaces. Note that, due to the fact that the bed is agitated, possibly the best manner to have internal heat transfer surfaces without interfering with mixing would be to have a hollow mixer and pass cooling water through it.
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