Lovastatin production by Aspergillus terreus using lignocellulose biomass in large scale packed bed reactor

Sanjay Kumar, Bhaskar Sen Gupta, James Gomes

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)


    The effect of superficial air velocity on lovastatin production by Aspergillus terreus PL10 using wheat bran and wheat straw was investigated in a 7 l and a 1200 l packed bed reactor. Mass transfer and reaction limitations on bioconversion in the 1200 l reactor was studied based on a central composite design of experiments constructed using the superficial air velocity and solid substrate composition as variables and lovastatin production as response.
    The surface response prediction showed a maximum lovastatin production of 1.86 mg g-1 dry substrate on day 5 of the bioconversion process when the reactor was operated using 0.19 vvm airflow rate (23.37 cm min-1 superficial air velocity) and 54% substrate composition (wC). Lovastatin production did not increase significantly with superficial air velocity in the 7 l reactor. Variation in temperature and exit CO2 composition was recorded, and the Damköhler number was calculated for lovastatin production at these two scales. The results
    showed that in larger reactors mass transfer limitation controlled bioconversion while in smaller reactors bioconversion was controlled by reaction rate limitations. In addition, mass transfer limitations in larger reactors reduced the rate of metabolic heat removal, resulting in hot spots within the substrate bed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)416-424
    Number of pages9
    JournalFood and Bioproducts Processing
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014


    • Superficial air velocity; solid-state bioconversion, lovastatin production; Packed bed bioreactor Damköhler number Aspergillus terreus.


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