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Table 1 A comparison of different types of reactors with biofilm reactors

From: Biofilm reactors for industrial bioconversion processes: employing potential of enhanced reaction rates

Reactor Type Comments
Membrane reactor  
Advantages High productivities, high cell concentration can be achieved inside the reactor, clear permeates for further separation
Disadvantages Fouling with cells, cost prohibits their use in low cost large volume chemical production
Immobilized cell reactors  
   Covalent bond formation  
Advantages High cell concentration may be achieved, high productivity
Disadvantages Cell growth inside matrix may be restricted, cells leach out of the matrix and hence centrifugation of effluent may be required, chemical may affect the cells
   Entrapment  
Advantages High cell concentration may be achieved, high productivity
Disadvantages Matrix often starts disintegration with time, cells leach out of matrix, centrifugation of reactor effluents is required for further separation
   Biofilm  
Advantages Comparatively high reactor productivities and high cell concentrations are achieved, reactors run longer and are economic to operate
Disadvantages Effluent centrifugation is required