Simultaneous biochemical reaction and separation in a continuous rotating annular chromatograph

  • M.R. Sarmidi

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The aim of this work has been to investigate the behaviour of a continuous rotating annular chromatograph (CRAC) under a combined biochemical reaction and separation duty. Two biochemical reactions have been employed, namely the inversion of sucrose to glucose and fructose in the presence of the enzyme invertase and the saccharification of liquefied starch to maltose and dextrin using the enzyme maltogenase.
Simultaneous biochemical reaction and separation has been successfully carried out for the first time in a CRAC by inverting sucrose to fructose and glucose using the enzyme invertase and collecting continuously pure fractions of glucose and fructose from the base of the column. The CRAC was made of two concentric cylinders which form an annulus 140 cm long by 1.2 cm wide, giving an annular space of 14.5 dm3. The ion exchange resin used was an industrial grade calcium form Dowex 50W-X4 with a mean diameter of 150 microns. The mobile phase used was deionised and dearated water and contained the appropriate enzyme. The annular column was slowly rotated at speeds of up to 240°h-1 while the sucrose substrate was fed continuously through a stationary feed pipe to the top of the resin bed.
A systematic investigation of the factors affecting the performance of the CRAC under simultaneous biochemical reaction and separation conditions was carried out by employing a factorial experimental procedure. The main factors affecting the performance of the system were found to be the feed rate, feed concentrations and eluent rate. Results from the experiments indicated that complete conversion could be achieved for feed concentrations of up to 50% w/v sucrose and at feed throughputs of up to 17.2 kg sucrose per m3 resin/h.
The second enzymic reaction, namely the saccharification of liquefied starch to maltose employing the enzyme maltogenase has also been successfully carried out on a CRAC. Results from the experiments using soluble potato starch showed that conversions of up to 79% were obtained for a feed concentration of 15.5% w/v at a feed flowrate of 400 cm3/h. The product maltose obtained was over 95% pure.
Mathematical modelling and computer simulation of the sucrose inversion system has been carried out. A finite difference method was used to solve the partial differential equations and the simulation results showed good agreement with the experimental results obtained.
Date of AwardMar 1993
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorPhilip E. Barker (Supervisor)


  • Simultaneous annular chromatograph
  • biochemical reactor
  • chromatographic reactor
  • invertase
  • maltogenase

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