Technologies that could help monitor water safety, prevent leaks from underground gas storage sites and reduce the waste left over from producing biodiesel are now available for licensing to interested companies and entrepreneurs through Montana State University’s Technology Transfer Office.
The first technology, a nucleic acid assay that distinguishes between living and dead cells, helps eliminate the false-positives caused by detecting non-viable cells. The method detects only the active-cell portion of a microbial sample, something current molecular methods cannot do.
The new method works with established protocols and other nucleic acid-based diagnostics. It applies to a range of bacterial species, including gram-positive bacteria, and it requires no specialized expertise to perform.
Possible applications include food and water safety monitoring, clinical diagnostics, bioterrorism assays, testing for sterility in pharmaceuticals and personal care products and further microbial research.
The second technology uses non-pathogenic slime-forming bacteria to create a slimy biofilm barrier that seals geologic pores and prevents leaks from underground gas storage sites.
No excavation is needed to use this bacterial barrier. The seal needs minimal maintenance and repairs itself when damaged. The bacteria used thrive under high pressures, high temperatures and saline conditions, meaning the seal can work at almost any depth and in any kind of geologic formation.
Possible applications include capping underground carbon sequestration reservoirs and abandoned gas wells.
The final technology available for licensing is a process that takes the raw glycerin waste left over from biodiesel production and converts it into a combustible gaseous biofuel.
The process has the benefit of reducing the glycerin waste left over from biodiesel production, and it works with the mixed glycerin waste typically found at biodiesel plants.
Patents on all three of these technologies are pending. All three technologies were developed at MSU, and research on them is ongoing.
Companies interested in licensing any of these technologies should contact Nick Zelver with the MSU Technology Transfer Office at 406-994-7868 or by e-mail at [email protected] by Jan. 23, 2009.
To date, MSU has 163 active technology licenses. Ninety-four of those licenses are with Montana companies.
To see all MSU technologies available for licensing go to: http://tto.montana.edu/technologies