Downstream contaminant removal purification process.
The quality and value of lactic acids (LA) produced by AgRefine’s Three Phase Bioreactor (TPB) are inversely proportional to the number of contaminants present within the input substrates used (grass-silage). Regardless of the quality of the input substrate, several organic acid contaminants will exist in all lactic acids produced. To this end, the successful candidate will create genetically engineered microorganisms that will remove these contaminants, resulting in increased LA purity and thus increased product value. Building upon a large E. coli knockout catalogue, which has been created to facilitate the production of UCD’s various organic acid specific biosensors, genetically engineered E. coli strains will be assessed, for their ability act as butyric-, acetic-, propionic- and valeric-acid contaminant removers.
Initially based in UCD under the supervision of Prof. McDonnell with input from Prof. C Murphy, Dr. Sweeney and Mr. Mandl the candidate will:
- Be trained on biosensor creation and operation techniques,
- Apply a suite of genetic engineering techniques to create a butyric acid degradation E. coli isolate,
- Screen for additional microorganisms that may be more suited to the contaminant removal process (where if successful genetic engineering will be applied),
- Collaborate with CERTH to deploy the contaminant removal microorganisms to their proposed membrane bioreactor (MBR).