Document Type


Date of Award

Spring 5-31-1988

Degree Name

Master of Science in Chemical Engineering - (M.S.)


Chemical Engineering, Chemistry and Environmental Science

First Advisor

Samir S. Sofer

Second Advisor

Gordon Lewandowski

Third Advisor

Richard B. Trattner


The performance of immobilized cell reactors varies with a number of parameters, one of which is proper bead design. A mixed microbial population from a waste water treatment plant was immobilized in calcium alginate gel. The viability of these organisms was studied in a microassay reactor by varying parameters such as concentration of calcium chloride, concentration of sodium alginate, temperature of operation, biomass concentration within the beads and concentration of a model compound (2-chlorophenol). The effect of storage on viability over a period of three months was also investigated. It was found possible to have access to active biomass by drying the beads and storing at 4°C.

In addition, polyvinyl alcohol gel and diatomaceous earth beads were also tried as supports for microbe immobilization. Rates of removal of the substrate (2-chlorophenol) were followed in an air sparged semibatch reactor of volume 300 ml, at 37°C. It was found that 40 percent of the removal was by stripping and about 60 percent was due to biooxidation.