ensure adequate dispersion of air and other nutrients in large scale fermentations. As the degree of agitation is increased, the relative efficiencies of the various types of spargers tend to converge, and at high agitation levels, all spargers give approximately the same performance. The types of spargers in general use may be classified as nozzle spargers, orifice spargers, and porous spargers.

Nozzle spargers consists of either a single nozzle or a cluster of nozzles radiating from a central delivery pipe. Orifice or ring spargers are the type in most common use; essentially a perforated pipe formed in the shape of a ring. The tendency of smaller orifices to block and the high pressure drop are the limiting factors. Porous spargers are of more academic than industrial interest and are used primarily in small scale aeration studies.

The factors relevant for good performance of the sparger include correct placement of the sparger holes in line with the impeller blades, choice of hole diameters to ensure critical orifice at maximum gas flow, and free draining back of the fermentation broth into the vessel. The consideration of gas distribution into the fermentor supports use of a ring sparger over other spargers.

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