Politecnico di Torino - Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY

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Biofilm plant for butanol production

BioreactorbutanolClostridium acetobutylicumFermentation


A system consisting of biofilm reactors connected in series in which ABE fermentation is carried out in a multi-stage system and the products are obtained by conversion of the sugars fed to the plant. In this plant it is possible to obtain high butanol concentration, thus improving the specific productivity, or increase the conversion of the fed sugar, increasing in both cases the economic efficiency of the process.

Technical features

The present invention relates to a plant comprising a plurality of biofilm reactors for the production of butanol. The invention also refers to the production of butanol by fermentation using anaerobic bacteria of the Clostridia class immobilized on solid granular and / or structured supports in said biofilm reactors connected in series. Another object of the invention is the plant for carrying out the aforementioned process, consisting of a system of n reactors (with n≥2, preferably between 2 and 10) with biofilms connected in series. The n reactors are managed and controlled in such a way as to have the clear separation of the two fermentation phases due to the pH control in each reactor of the series: acidogenesis in the first m (with m integer and in any case less than or equal to n / 2) reactors and solventogenesis in the remaining reactors.

Possible Applications

  • Intensive production of chemicals by multi-stage fermentation.


  • Increase of the cell concentration within the rectors (with respect to the classical reactors);
  • Increase of the butanol productivity;
  • Possibility to use agro-food wastes as feedstock of the fermentation process.