Design of an Airlift Bioreactor

An important consideration for the process design is cell immobilization-enabled flow-through operation. Large-scale biosorption relies on cells that are immobilized on a supporting substrate and used to 'attract' metal ions. Cell immobilization allows easy separation of the feed solution and REEs that are attached to the cell surface. It also allows continuous operation without the need of energy-intensive centrifugation or filtration. Lightweight, high surface area, low cost (~$200/m3) high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic disks are used as cell carriers for biofilm formation.
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Additional Info

DOE Project Name: Extraction of Rare Earth Metals from Geothermal Fluids using Bioengineered Microbes
DOE Project Number: LLNL FY17 AOP 25112
DOE Project Lead: Holly Thomas
DOI: 10.15121/1452715
Last Updated: over a year ago
Data from March, 2017
Submitted Sep 5, 2017

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory




Yongqin Jiao
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Dan Park
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Lewis Ho
Bioreactor Sciences


geothermal, energy, bioreactor, airlift, rare earth, biosorption, adsorption, REE, biofilm, resource recovery, bioadsorption


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