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New fuels and pollution solutions can be realized with cells on rotating fibers. Fibers have high area and when Celite is entrapped in the fibers, even more area is provided.
Zymomonas can ferment glucose to ethanol in 15 minutes, and a recombinant version can ferment pentose sugars.
Zymomonas on Tyvek fiber removes lead from wastewater in two seconds. Some people think all bacteria are poisonous, but in Brazil scientists have found it to be therapeutic. Dried grain from a Zymomonas fermentation is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for animal feed. Several large cities are over the limit for lead in drinking water. Other metals can be removed also.
Calcium magnesium acetate, a non-corrosive road deicer is made with cells on rotating fibers. Salt causes millions of dollars damage to roads and bridges. Inexpensive raw material such as cheese whey and corn steep liquor can be used.
When a rotary biological contactor is run half full and a light shone in the top, the light hits a thin moving film. In other photo reactors, colored solution blocks the light. Light can degrade chlorine compounds and produce hydrogen, a non-polluting fuel. Rapid increase of carbon dioxide threatens the very existence of mankind. Titania entrapped in the fiber increases the rate of the reaction. In a horizontal RBC, hydrogen has an easy exit, just like carbon dioxide has an easy exit when fermenting sugar to alcohol.
White rot fungus grows on fibers like old cardboard boxes to degrade chlorine compounds, azo dyes and TNT. The corrugations entrap air which is necessary for growth of the fungi when buried in soil.
ethanol, lead, deicer, hydrogen
This paper is from the Proceedings of the 10th Annual Conference on Hazardous Waste Research 1995, published in hard copy and on the Web by the Great Plains/Rocky Mountain Hazardous Substance Research Center.