KSEF: R&D Excellence: Monitoring the Bubble Size and Liquid Hold-up in a Foam Fractionation Column Using a Polarized Light Sensor

Grants and Contracts Details


Standard separation and recovery techniques can be quite expensive, especially when the purity requirement of the protein or enzyme is high. In fact, the cost of protein recovery and purification may be the detemlining factor in whether a product is economically viable (1).. Targeting better protein recovery and purification techniques may result in a significant reduction in processing costs. Foam ftactionation, an adsorptive-bubble separation method, has been shown to be a feasible technique for the separation and/or concentration of proteins and enzymes (2), including recombinant pharmaceutical proteins (3) and enzymes such as cellulase (4). Several researchers have suggested that bubble size and liquid hold-up are the two factors, which ultimately control the overall performance of the column (4). The proposed project is aimed at developing an optical radiation depolarization technique for online bubble size analysis for foam fractionation, in order to maximize protein recovery efficiency. The technique is based on changes in the angular and radial profiles of reflected and transmitted light by a foam subjected to a collimated, polarized light beam (5). A hybrid Monte Carlo/Ray- Tracing method can be used to simulate the depolarization of radiation by the bubbles. The bubble size distribution can be determined by best fitting experimentally determined vertical and horizontal polarization components of both radial and angular profiles of reflection and transmission. In addition to bubble size analysis, the proposed technique can also determine the liquid hold-up (i.e., the liquid thickness between the bubbles). The proposed emerging idea proposal focuses on preliminary experiments necessary to show that 1) polarized light can be utilized to monitor bubble size and liquid hold-up and 2) that changes in these two parameters can be correlated to changes in the performance of a foarn fractionation column.
Effective start/end date7/1/039/30/04


  • KY Science and Technology Co Inc: $15,000.00


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