Sterilization Of Liquid Wastes

Process organisms which have been engineered to produce 'foreign' products and therefore contain heterologous genes are subject to strict containment regulations. Thus, waste biomass of such organisms must be sterilized before disposal. Sterilization may be achieved by either batch or continuous means but the whole process must be carried out under contained conditions. Batch sterilization involves the sparging of steam into holding tanks, whereas continuous processes would employ the type of heat exchangers which have been discussed in the previous section. A holding vessel for the batch sterilization of waste is shown in Fig. 5.13. Whichever method is employed the effluent must be cooled to below 60°C before it is discharged to waste. The sterilization processes have to be validated and are designed using the Del factor approach considered in the previous sections. However, the kinetic characteristics used in the calculations would be those of the process organism rather than of B. stearothermophilus. Also, the Nt value used in the design calculations would be smaller than 10"3 which is used for medium sterilization and would depend on the assessment of the hazard involved should the organism survive the decontamination process. Thus, the sterilization regime used for destruction of the process organism will be different from that used in sterilizing the medium.

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