Process Microbiology

image of growing Bacteria

Bacteria growing on blood agar culture medium

image of Biosafety cabinet with black light

Biosafety cabinet with black light

image of Dispensing buffer

Dispensing buffer for microbiological assay

image of Fuel Cell Development

Biofuel development techniques

image of Scanning electron micrograph of spore-forming bacteria

Scanning electron micrograph of spore-forming bacteria and debris

image of Biosafety cabinet

Strain selection performed in biosafety cabinet

The Chemical Engineering Department at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) offers more than 30 years of experience in advanced, alternative, and conventional fuels science and engineering. In support of these technologies, SwRI provides clients the full range of microbiology services needed to enhance national security, improve health, safeguard the environment, and provide energy options for the future.

SwRI’s laboratory scientists are recognized worldwide for their knowledge and expertise in diverse areas including microbiology (environmental, food and clinical), national security support, biofuels, virology, biofilm science, fermentation, environmental technology, chemical engineering, and process simulation and development.

The Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Division is ISO 9001:2008 certified. The Microbiology Laboratory is compliant with standard Quality Assurance practices and client-specific practices.

Process Microbiology Capabilities

  • Biofuels from microorganisms, biopolymers, and biologically derived oils
  • Biotreatability testing
  • Bioremediation
  • Process microbiology and fermentation
  • Bioaerosol microbiology
  • ASTM biodegradability testing
  • Microbial assay development
  • Biothreat agent sampling and simulant analysis
  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Full support for biorefining operations
  • Unit operations including:
    • Strain development
    • Media preparation
    • Fermentation and cell culture
    • Biomass separation and harvesting
    • Product formulation
    • Downstream recovery and processing of fuels, chemical and biochemicals

Process Microbiology Facilities

  • BSL-2 laboratory
  • Reactors/process equipment
  • Analytical laboratories
    • Inorganic
    • Organic
    • Molecular biology
    • Biodegradation

Process Microbiology Technical Staff

  • Microbiologists
  • Chemists
  • Chemical Engineers
  • Bioengineers
  • Technicians

The Microbiology Laboratory supports the International Alternative Fuels Technology Center for advanced biofuels research. The lab is capable of ASTM biodegradability testing, biotreatability testing, and R&D for biofuels from microorganisms, biopolymers, and biologically derived oils.

Related Terminology

microbiology  •  algae  •  biofuel  •  bioremediation  •  strain  •  biodegradability  •  biotreatability  •  biomass  •  downstream  •  unit operations  •  fermentation  •  anaerobic  •  environmental  •  microbiologist  •  aerosol

Benefiting government, industry and the public through innovative science and technology
Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is a multidisciplinary, independent, nonprofit, applied engineering and physical sciences research and development organization with 10 technical divisions.