A process is described for converting organic materials (such as biomass wastes) into sterile, high-grade bacterial protein suitable for use an animal feed or human food supplements. In a preferred embodiment the process involves thermally gasifying the organic material into primarily carbon monoxide, hydrogen and nitrogen products, followed by photosynthetic bacterial assimilation of the gases into cell material, which can be as high as 65% protein. The process is ideally suited for waste recycling and for food production under zero-gravity or extra-terrestrial conditions.
The United States Government has rights in this invention under Contract No. DE-AC02-83CH10093 between the United States Department of Energy and the Solar Energy Research Institute, a Division of the Midwest Research Institute.