Acoustically-Enhanced Extractive Fermentation for Biomass Utilization

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-03ER83765
Agency Tracking Number: 72428S03-I
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2003
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
1901 South Franklin, Butte, MT, 59701
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Todd McAdams
 (406) 723-2222
Business Contact
 Lawrence Farrar
Phone: (406) 723-2222
Email: lcfarrar@montecresearch
Research Institution
72428S03-I Combining the unit operations of solvent extraction and fermentation would substantially lower the capital cost and operating expense of converting biomass to usable products. However, attempts to develop these extractive fermentations have suffered from oxygen and mass transfer limitations and long coalescing times. This project will apply novel acoustic agitation technology in the construction of an improved extractive fermentation bioreactor. This novel mixing technology will dramatically enhance gas-liquid and liquid-liquid mass transfer beyond standard impeller mixers, with even more improvement as the viscosity increases. Phase I will characterize the mass and oxygen transfer in the novel extractive fermentation bioreactor. The level of improvement will be quantified by conducting extractive fermentations with two processes of relevance to biomass conversion. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by awardee: The technology should lead to sales of extractive fermentation bioreactors to companies developing large-scale biorefineries for the conversion of biomass to usable products (e.g., ethanol production). The technology also should enable the development of new extraction matrices that are currently limited by viscosity considerations.

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

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