As pointed out in Sect. 7.2, it is impossible to prevent evaporation from occurring in packed-bed operation, even if the air supplied to the bed is saturated. Ghildyal et al. (1994) and Gowthaman et al. (1993a,b) showed that the rate at which bed drying occurred depended on the position within the bioreactor and the air flow rate (Fig. 7.9).
Looking at the effect of air flow rate on the temporal variations in water content at each bed height, the key observations are (Fig. 7.9(a)):
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