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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: BIOMASS PRODUCTION FROM ELECTRICAL PLANT FLUE GAS
2012 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Objective 1: Set up an anaerobic microbiology laboratory at the University of Kentucky’s Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER). Objective 2: Hire and train personnel to perform microbiological experiments related to the project. Objective 3: Produce biomass products from electrical plant flue gas. Objective 4: Evaluate products as ruminant feed/feed additives.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Carbon dioxide will be captured from power plant flue gas with an ammonium stripper. The resulting ammonium carbonate solution will be used as a growth substrate for microorganisms. Photosynthetic organisms will be cultured in a photoreactor. Fermentative organisms will be cultured in anaerobic batch. Materials will be separated from the photoreactor and fermentation products, and these materials will be evaluated as feed additives for ruminants. All research will be funded and performed by CAER, and ARS will act in an advisory capacity. In years 4 and 5, we anticipate having consistent biomass products derived from flue gas carbon dioxide. These products will be evaluated as feed for ruminants.


3.Progress Report:

The purpose of the project was to find a way to apply microbial remediation to the ammonia slip from a flue gas carbon dioxide (CO2) scrubber system. As work on the scrubber has progressed, we have decided that this may not be feasible for two reasons. First, the quantity of flue gas and ammonia to be handled was always seen as a problem, but the approaches to reducing the quantity that have been tested so far have not been effective. Second, the fact that the ammonia in the system will most likely be supplemented with some other amine compound, of which several are under consideration right now, means that any bioremediation system may have to contend with compounds that will have different metabolic requirements and may even prove toxic to certain microorganisms. Consequently, the project is on indefinite hold.


Last Modified: 12/22/2014
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