CONVERSION OF ORGANIC WASTES TO PURE METHANE.

Period of Performance: 01/01/1985 - 12/31/1985

$39K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Aquaculture Concepts
73-1125 Alihilani Pl
Kailua-kona, HI 96740
Principal Investigator

Abstract

THIS IS A PROPOSAL TO CONDUCT BIOTECHNICAL RESEARCH. THE PROPOSAL INVOLVES RESEARCH ON THE ELEMENTS OF A BIOREACTOR, A CONTROLLED TWO-STAGE SYSTEM FOR THE BIOCONVERSION OF ORGANIC MATTER TO METHANE, ALCOHOL, OR OTHER VALUABLE PRODUCTS. CURRENT METHODS FOR THE BIOCONVERSION OF ORGANIC MATERIAL TO METHANE ARE SYNERGETIC, INEFFICIENT, AND PRODUCEPOOR QUALITY PRODUCTS OF LIMITED VALUE. THE PERFORMANCE OF EXISTING SYSTEMS IS LIMITED BY THE CONFIGURATION AND MODE OFOPERATION. THIS RESEARCH IS A CONTINUATION OF STUDIES CONDUCTED BY MESSING, THE PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATOR, AT THE CORNING RESEARCH CENTER WHICH DEMONSTRATED THE POTENTIAL TO ATTACH OR "IMMOBILIZE" MICROORGANISMS ON MICROPOROUS SUPPORTS TO IMPROVE THE BIOCONVERSION PROCESS. RESEARCH CONDUCTED BY MESSING AND TORNABENE AT GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY DEMONSTRATED THE POTENTIAL OF OTHER MICROPOROUS SUPPORTS THAT IMPROVED THE OPERATING CHARACTERISTICS OF THE BIOREACTOR. ADDITIONAL RESEARCH ON THE ELEMENTS OF THE SYSTEM, CONFIGURATION AND MANAGEMENT METHODS REQUIRED FOR CONTINUOUS OPERATION IS NECESSARY FOR COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENTOF THE CONCEPT. THE PROPOSED PROGRAM WILL EVALUATE MICROPOROUS MATERIALS AND REACTOR DESIGNS. THE MATERIAL WITH THE BEST PERFORMANCE WILL BE INCORPORATED INTO A WORKING BIOREACTOR THAT CAN BE USED TO EVALUATE THE PERFORMANCE OF THE SYSTEM IN CONVERTING VARIOUS SOURCES OF ORGANIC MATERIAL TO METHANE.