Joint Insitute for Biological Science (JIBS) building houses the Bioconversion Science & Technology Group
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is one of the nation's largest federal multipurpose research and development installations. It is managed by UT-Battelle, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) . It is best described as a national energy laboratory; its principal concern is the development of safe, economical, and environmentally acceptable technologies for efficient production and use of energy from various sources. Recognizing the increasing importance of biotechnology to the nation's long-term security and economic prosperity, this vital technology has been declared a major initiative.
The laboratory occupied by the BS&T Group has facilities available for work with aerobic and anaerobic microorganisms. There are multiple sterile transfer hoods, autoclaves, spectrophotometers, and fume hoods for work with volatile contaminants, gassing stations for the preparation of anaerobic media, and proper low temperature freezers to maintain cultures and samples. The laboratories contain a COY and Thermofisher anaerobic chamber for handling strict anaerobic microorganisms including incubators and associated small items for microbial manipulation. Fermentation capabilities include eleven 2-5 L fermentors in the ORNL Joint Institute building and six 5L bench-top fermentation/chemostat units in the neighboring laboratory. There is also a fully instrumented 10 Braun sterlize in place fermentor. All units have computer monitoring/control and data logging and fully instrumented for controlled cultivation including temperature, oxygen, and pH. All fermentors can be operated with air or with any cylinder gas (i.e., CO, N2, etc.). We are adding the capability to monitor fermentations by mass spectrometer off gas analysis with a universal gas analyzer for integrated for online metabolic analyses. Three Hitachi HPLCs and three HP GCs are used for routine fermentation results analysis. Additionally, the laboratories have numerous incubators for cultivation at any temperature. For biomass testing, the lab has a high temperature sand bath needed for biomass pretreatment required for fermentation tests. Finally, the green house used for plant research has the necessary equipment of biomass milling and size reduction needed for biomass fermentations.