1994-06-01

Development of an Intermediate-Scale Aerobic Bioreactor to Regenerate Nutrients from Inedible Crop Residues 941501

Three Intermediate-Scale Aerobic Bioreactors were designed, fabricated, and operated. They utilized mixed microbial communities to bio-degrade plant residues. The continuously stirred tank reactors operated at a working volume of 8 L, and the average oxygen mass transfer coefficient, kLa, was 0.01 s-1. Mixing time was 35 s.
An experiment using inedible wheat residues, a replenishment rate of 0.125 day-1, and a solids loading rate of 20 gdw day-1 yielded a 48% reduction in biomass. Bioreactor effluent was successfully used to regenerate a wheat hydroponic nutrient solution. Over 80% of available potassium, calcium, and other minerals were recovered and recycled in the 76-day wheat growth experiment.

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