An upflow bioreactor includes a vessel having an inlet and an outlet configured for upflow operation. A septum is positioned within the vessel and defines a lower chamber and an upper chamber. The septum includes an aperture that provides fluid communication between the upper chamber and lower chamber. The bioreactor also includes an auger positioned in the aperture of the septum. The vessel includes an opening in the top for receiving the auger. The auger extends from a drive housing, which is position over the opening and provides a seal around the opening. The drive housing is adjustable relative to the vessel. The position of the auger in the aperture can be adjusted by adjusting the drive housing relative to the vessel. The auger adjustment mechanism allows the auger to be accurately positioned within the aperture. The drive housing can also include a fluid to provide an additional seal around the shaft of the auger.
Work described herein has been supported, in part by a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture and United States Department of Energy, grant number 68-3A75-3-153. Therefore, the Government may have certain rights in this invention.