Development and Integration of a Breadboard-Scale Aerobic Bioreactor to Regenerate Nutrients from Inedible Crop Residues 951498

A Breadboard-Scale Aerobic Bioreactor (B-SAB) has been designed and integrated with the Kennedy Space Center's Biomass Production Chamber (BPC). The bioreactor utilizes a mixed microbial community to biodegrade inedible plant residues, a component of a Controlled Ecological Life Support System (CELSS) waste-stream. The continuously stirred tank reactor (120 L working volume) supports nutrient recycling and secondary food production experiments, and can process an influent with a solids loading as high as 50 g L-1. The volumetric oxygen mass transfer coefficient, kLa, is 0.013 s-1. Nutrient solution for BPC lettuce and wheat crops has been produced. Currently, B-SAB is supplying 80% of the nutrients for 10 m2 of potato plants in a continuous production experiment.


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