WIT Press

Design Optimization Of A Bioreactor For Ethanol Production Using CFD Simulation And Genetic Algorithms


Free (open access)

Paper DOI






Page Range

67 - 73




692 kb


E. R. C. Góis & P. Seleghim Jr.


The increase of the use of biofuels, like bioethanol, has presented new challenges to engineering problems. The optimization of bioreactors is crucial to improve the bioethanol extraction and to avoid stagnant zones in the flow that can compromise the chemical reactions involved in the process. This paper presents a solution using Computational Fluid Dynamics tools coupled with Genetics Algorithm to find an improved reactor structure. The preliminary results show that the influence of the height outlet tube alone is able to modify completely the flow pattern inside the reactor, improving the efficiency of the reactor. Keywords: bioethanol, bioreactor, CFD, genetic algorithms, optimization. 1 Introduction The search for new ways to provide fuel for the society has been constantly increasing. One of the great challenges for scientists and academic researchers is to provide fuels without jeopardizing the environment. An interesting alternative is the bioethanol production from sugar cane or other kinds of biomass, like corn, beet, etc. The production of sugar cane ethanol is economically feasible only in large scale, such as 45 thousand liters per hour, for instance. At these scales, any efficiency improvement can result in a very significant overall optimization in terms of production rates and environmental impacts as well. Due to the difficulty to do experimental analyses, the expensive materials that are used and the time limitations, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) tools are a useful alternative to study the flow inside reactors and bioreactors, and to better define


bioethanol, bioreactor, CFD, genetic algorithms, optimization