MICROBIAL REMOVAL OF ORGANIC SULFUR FROM COAL

Award Information
Agency:
Environmental Protection Agency
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$49,930.00
Award Year:
1989
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
n/a
Award Id:
11493
Agency Tracking Number:
11493
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
J K Research (Currently J.k. Research)
210 S Wallace, Bozeman, MT, 59715
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
n/a
Principal Investigator:
Kenneth Runnion
(406) 586-8744
Business Contact:
() -
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
THE U.S. POSSESSES HUGE COAL RESERVES, BUT SULFUR DIOXIDE (SO2) RELEASED UPON COMBUSTION IS A MAJOR CONTRIBUTOR TO ACID RAIN. SIGNIFICANT ADVANCES HAVE BEEN MADE IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF MICROBIAL PROCESSES FOR PRECOMBUSTION REMOVALOF INORGANIC SULFUR FROM COAL. THIOBACILLUS AND SULFOLOBUS SP. HAVE BEEN MOST FREQUENTLY EMPLOYED. THEY ARE OPTIMALLY ADAPTED TO FUNCTION AT A PH BELOW 3 AND OFTEN AT ELEVEATED TEMPERATURES. HOWEVER, THESE CONDITIONS HAVE BEEN INEFFECTIVE IN REMOVAL OF ORGANIC SULFUR FROM COAL. UNDER NATURAL CONDITIONS, BACTERIA AND FUNGI FOUND IN COAL ARE LARGELY NEUTROPHILIC. ONLY AFTER EXPOSURE TO AIR AND WATER AND ACTIVITY OF IRON-METABOLIZING BACTERIA DOES THE PH BEGIN TO FALL AND THE ACIDOPHILES INCREASE IN NUMBER. COMPLEX MICROBIAL COMMUNITIES OCCURRING NATURALLY IN SULFUROUS WATERS INCLUDE HETEROTROPHIC MICROORGANISMS ABLE TO TRANSFORM ORGANIC SULFUR INTO MORE READILY REMOVED FORMS. GROUPS OF MICROBES INHABITING SULFUROUS, NON-ACIDIC WATER WILL BE COLLECTED AND SCREENED FOR THEIR ABILITY TO REMOVE ORGANIC SULFUR FROM COAL. EMPHASIS WILL BE PLACED ON USE OF AN ENTIRE MICROBIAL COMMUNITY, RATHER THAN ISOLATING ONE OR TWO ORGANISMS.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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