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A Robust Biofilm-Biomat Reactor for Conversion of Mission-Relevant Feedstocks to Products

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: 80NSSC20C0031
Agency Tracking Number: 181083
Amount: $749,939.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: T7
Solicitation Number: STTR_18_P2
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2020
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-01-06
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2022-01-05
Small Business Information
960 Technology Boulevard, Bozeman, MT, 59718-4000
DUNS: 830668617
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Rich Macur
 (406) 579-1370
 rich.macur@sustainablebioproducts.com
Business Contact
 Rich Macur
Phone: (406) 579-1370
Email: rich.macur@sustainablebioproducts.com
Research Institution
 Montana State University
 Office of Sponsored Programs, PO Box 172470
Bozeman, MT, 59717-2470
 Federally funded R&D center (FFRDC)
Abstract
Sustainable Bioproducts (SBP) has developed a simple and energy efficient bioreactor technology for the purpose of supporting NASArsquo;s in-situ microbial manufacturing needs. The technology capitalizes on the robust nature of filamentous fungi grown as biofilms. SBP has shown that the system can be used to convert a multitude of mission available feedstocks into dense, easily harvestable biomats. Advantages over current fermentation technologies include: simplicity of operation, minimal to no energy usage during growth, not expected to be significantly impacted by microgravity, dense biomats (~200 g/L), simple harvesting and easy scale-up. Implementation of SBPrsquo;s specialized technology will enable the closure of life support loops, particularly waste streams, while providing mission critical products such as nutritional and appetizing foods, fuels, pharmaceuticals and building materials.nbsp;Sustainable Bioproducts in collaboration with Montana State University and BioServe Space Technologies at the University of Colorado, desire to continue development of the biofilm-biomat reactor system by leveraging learnings from the NASA Phase I program in combination with BioServersquo;s extensive experience in designing, fabricating and implementing biosystems in space.nbsp;SBP, MSU and BioServe propose to design, fabricate and test terrestrial prototype bioreactor systems that incorporate the advanced technology into a single unit. Deliverables for the project include: demonstration level prototype bioreactor that can be incorporated into an ISS midlevel size locker, evaluation of different organisms and feedstocks in the system, mass balances and transfer rates of individual constituents, examination of biofilm ultrastructure and gene expression, defined operation protocols, and calculation of Critical System Mass in preparation for possible Phase III research.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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