1998-07-13

Bioprocessing Wheat Residues to Recycle Plant Nutrients to the JSC Variable Pressure Growth Chamber during the L/MLSTP Phase III Test 981706

The KSC Breadboard Scale Aerobic Bioreactor (B-SAB) was used to bioprocess inedible wheat crop residues to provide recycled nutrients to support crop growth in the JSC Variable Pressure Growth Chamber (VPGC) as part of the 91 day JSC-Lunar/Mars Life Support Test Project Phase III. To meet the wheat nutrient demand at JSC, the KSCB-SAB was operated at both a higher loading rate (35 gdw L-1 compared with 20 gdw L-1) and at a slower retention time (21 days compared with 8 days) than we had used in previous bioreactor (continuous stirred tank reactor - CSTR) studies. The bioreactor operated for 19 weeks-8 weeks startup and steady state stabilization then 11 weeks of operation with the broth harvested weekly. Filtered broth was amended with nutrients and transported to JSC for integration into the VPGC wheat growth component of L/MLSTP Phase III. Biodegradation of JSC wheat residues was a constant 45% during steady state bioreactor operation, and similar to previous B-SAB runs.

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