Bioreactors Seeded with Biomass

Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant technicians work together to secure the hose from the biomass delivery truck. Biomass is an essential ingredient in the hydrolysate biodegration process.
Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant technicians work together to secure the hose from the biomass delivery truck. Biomass is an essential ingredient in the hydrolysate biodegration process.

Immobilized Cell Bioreactors are again treating hydrolysate, the product of the mustard agent neutralization process, after seeding with biomass from the local water reclamation facility.

“The microbes are performing predictably and reliably,” said Jim Earley, chief scientist, Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant.

On Oct. 4, biomass, or bacteria, was pumped into Modules #1 and #2 to biodegrade hydrolysate. Earley said after the microbes have consumed 85 percent of the thiodiglycol, the key ingredient in the hydrolysate, the second batch feed will be performed.

Once the second batch feed takes place, the goal is to start a continuous feed at 25 percent of design loading and ramp up to 75 percent, which was previously shown to be sustainable. The ramp up will take about 20 days, Earley said.

“The goal is to achieve 95 percent thiodiglycol removal,” said Earley.

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