(589b) Point of Use Recyclable Bioreactor System for Bio-Agricultural Applications

Robinson, M. A. - Presenter, University of Michigan

Farmers have long been respected for their self-sufficiency, acting as primary producers for society.  Yet as time progresses, productivity demands drive farmers to require increasing levels of technology in terms of seed strains, fertilizers and pesticides in order to remain competitive.  In turn farmers have grown dependent upon manufactured products with rising price tags.  Current market prices leave biologically derived fermentation based active ingredients and cultures, like reduced risk certified natural insecticides, uncompetitive against traditional synthetic insecticides placing them out of reach of small farmers, particularly in the developing world.  In order to reduce the basic manufacturing cost, we have designed a point of use recyclable bioreactor system capable of fermenting off patent compounds for direct field application eliminating the non-value added concentration step.  With recyclable single use inserts, the system can produce an array of bioproducts including nitrogen fixing cultures, phosphate solubilizing cultures, and various natural pesticides without the need for extensive sterilization.  The system empowers farmers to do what they do best: cultivate, returning the power of self-sufficiency to the hands of the farmer.