The Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant’s (PCAPP) Biotreatment Area achieved a landmark April 27 when hydrolysate, the product of the mustard agent neutralization process, was fed to an Immobilized Cell Bioreactor (ICB).
“We reached a major milestone,” said Bret Griebenow, deputy project manager, PCAPP. “This is significant as it’s the first time since we started processing agent that the entire facility is up and running.”
After ICB module two was seeded with biomass from the Pueblo Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plant, hydrolysate was introduced. Hydrolysate is a muddy-looking liquid that consists primarily of thiodiglycol (TDG), water and salts.
Acclimation and ramp up of the seeding and biomass will continue until June. During this time, the ICBs will be fed a mixture of surrogate (TDG brought in for testing) and agent hydrolysate. In late May or early June, the ICBs are forecast to transition to 100 percent hydrolysate feed to achieve steady state operations, said Jim Earley, chief scientist, PCAPP.
“We are getting ready for Integrated Facility Demonstrations, during which the plant will run at full capacity and emissions will be monitored, in July,” said Griebenow. “This is a great step forward and excellent progress has been made.”