Continuous operation permits a more uniform product than batch operation, especially in cases in which the solid bed is mixed only intermittently. This can be seen by comparing an intermittently-mixed, forcefully-aerated bioreactor operated in batch mode with the same bioreactor type operated in continuous mode. Note that, as shown in Fig. 11.5, in both bioreactors the air flow is perpendicular to the flow of solids. As described in Chap. 10, this design has been successfully proven in batch bioreactors at pilot scale. Note that the intermittent mixing is necessary in order to break up aggregates of solid particles and also to allow the replenishment of evaporated water.
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