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Enzyme reactor is a vessel or series of vessels used to perform a desired transformation. Several important factors that determine the choice of enzyme reactor includes choice of enzyme i.e. free or immobilised, reaction kinetics, scale of operation, temperature and ph control, enzyme stability and product stability. The chemical and physical properties of an immobilisation support including whether it is particulate, membranous or fibrous, and its density, compressibility, robustness, particle size and regenerability also contributes to the performance of enzyme reactor. The cost of productivity within the product's specifications is also a major determining factor for the choice of enzyme reactor. It should be inclusive of the costs associated with substrate, downstream processing , overheads and process development.
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Scope and Importance
Food and feed is possibly the area where processing anchored in biological agents has the deepest roots. Despite this, process improvement or design and implementation of novel approaches has been consistently performed, and more so in recent years, where significant advances in enzyme engineering and biocatalyst design have fastened the pace of such developments.
Targeted improvements aim at enzymes with enhanced thermal and operational stability, improved specific activity, modification of pH-activity profiles, and increased product specificity, among others. This has been mostly achieved through protein engineering and enzyme immobilization, along with improvements in screening. The latter has been considerably improved due to the implementation of high-throughput techniques, and due to developments in protein expression and microbial cell culture. Expanding screening to relatively unexplored environments (marine, temperature extreme environments) has also contributed to the identification and development of more efficient biocatalysts. Technological aspects are considered, but economic aspects are also briefly addressed.
Enzyme reactors can serve as efficient tools for the development of enzyme processes having wider applicability in chemical processing and biotechnology industry. Several types of enzyme reactors includes Stirred tank batch reactor, batch membrane reactor packed bed reactor, continuous flow stirred tank reactor, continuous flow membrane reactor, fluidised bed reactor. In a batch fermentation reactor the reactants are added in one instance and also the entire product is removed once it is generated whereas the fed batch fermentation requires the further additions of enzyme or substrate in between the operation. The operating costs of batch reactors are higher than for continuous processes due to the necessity for the reactors to be emptied and refilled.
Fermentation chemicals are used as process initiators in several applications. Fermentation chemicals help in speeding the process reactions and saves time, energy and process cost. Fermentation chemicals are widely used in industries across the globe, owing to their natural structure, low cost and better outputs. The major product class of fermentation chemicals consists of alcohols, enzymes and organic acids. Fermentation chemicals are utilized in variety of applications in a wide range of chemical processes in industries such as alcohol industry, pharmaceutical industry, food and beverages industry, chemical industry, textile industry and rubber industry among others. The revenue generated by the global fermentation chemicals market was USD 41,567.7 million in 2012 which is expected to reach USD 60,123.9 million by 2019, growing at a CAGR of 5.4% from 2013 to 2019.
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This page was last updated on 12th Sep, 2015
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