Development of a Flat Sheet Woven Fabric Membrane Fermenter for Xylanase Production by Thermomyces Lanuginosus
A submerged membrane fermenter system using a flat sheet woven fabric membrane to increase the rate of
xylanase production, from the thermophilic fungal species Thermomyces lanuginous was developed and evaluated. During
short run membrane fermenter experiments the percentage increase in enzyme activity between the batch operation and
semi-continuous operation with beechwood xylan nutrient replenishment was 60.8%. The maximum volumetric productivity
achieved with beechwood supplementation after 192 hours in semi-continuous operation was 2.1 times greater than that of
batch operation which equates to an increase of 110% in productivity measured at its peak. During long run experimental
periods, the increase in production of xylanase between the batch and the xylan medium membrane system was determined to
be 74.3% whereas an overall average increase in productivity between the batch and xylan fed membrane system was 43.3%.
Experiments where deionized water was alternated with beechwood xylan nutrient medium had no significant impact on the
productivity or enzyme activity. The results are indicative of the potential viability of such a design, yielding the desired
outcome of a membrane integrated system to significantly increase the production of enzymes during fermentation.
Index Terms- Membrane fermenter, Thermomyces lanuginosus, woven fabric membrane, xylanase.