Use of membrane bioreactor (MBR) systems to enable production of various methane fermented products such as polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) for use in many plastic-like applications, nutritional supplements, essential amino acids, bioremediation, and products for advanced life support. For example, sustainable polyhydroxyalkanotes (PHAs) can be produced and formed into filaments that could be used for 3-D printing applications on the International Space Station (ISS). Also, this MBR system and ultimate PHA production will contribute to the resource recovery and waste processing goals of advanced life support at NASA.
Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are a substitute for conventional plastic goods including microbeads, packaging, childrens' toys, electronic casings, coatings, and agricultural films. These materials can be fully biodigestable and will be converted back into carbon using microbial processes. This carbon can enter the natural carbon cycle and prevent additional carbon to affect the atmospheres of Earth or other planetary bodies. PHAs are also fully edible and can be digested by humans safely.