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A Robust Biofilm-Biomat Reactor for Conversion of Mission-Relevant Feedstocks to Products
Phone: (406) 579-1370
Phone: (406) 579-1370
Type: Federally funded R&D center (FFRDC)
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. *