|Publication number||USH2271 H1|
|Application number||US 12/373,352|
|Publication date||Jul 3, 2012|
|Filing date||Nov 12, 2011|
|Priority date||Dec 13, 2010|
|Publication number||12373352, 373352, US H2271 H1, US H2271H1, US-H1-H2271, USH2271 H1, USH2271H1|
|Inventors||James Thomas Sears|
|Original Assignee||James Thomas Sears|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (16), Non-Patent Citations (5), Classifications (19)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application claims priority from U.S. Provisional patent application Ser. No. 61/422,613, filed Dec. 13, 2010, entitled “Production and Application of Cyanobacterial Based Photosynthetic Soil Fertilizer”, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.
The present invention is related to production and application of cyanobacterial based photosynthetic soil fertilizer.
Build-up of atmospheric carbon dioxide is expected to have a detrimental impact on global weather conditions. Accordingly, there is a need for additional systems and/or methods that assist in mitigating the build-up of atmospheric carbon dioxide, including the sequestering of industrial CO2 emissions. Additionally, there is a need for a natural soil fertilizer that mitigates desertification and revitalizes the soil micronutrients depleted by chemical farming.
Soil microorganisms within BSC form a symbiotic group; a mutually beneficial relationship exists among components within the group, and with the plants in the associated healthy soil. Many of the microorganisms in BSC are photosynthetic and draw their energy from sunlight such that they can, in turn, manufacture and provide nutrition and fixed nitrogen to cohort microorganisms that are not photosynthetic or are found deeper in the soil. The actions of the BSC, and the deeper cohort microorganisms it supplies nutrition to, work together as a symbiotic group to stabilize soil and draw plant available nutrition from the grains of soil into the soil matrix over time. In addition, the dominant cyanobacteria component of BSC fixes carbon as well as nitrogen from the atmosphere. Beginning with BSC, the combined actions of these microorganisms create conditions benefiting the establishment and growth of vascular plants like grasses, shrubs and crops. In effect, the BSC is a naturally occurring solar powered fertilizer that lives on the surface of bare earth making it suitable and beneficial for the establishment of vascular plants over time.
However, because BSC microorganisms reproduce slowly in dry climates and are not very motile, physical disturbances like tilling, livestock grazing, and fire can halt the BSCs beneficial effects for the soil and the BSC, and these benefits can take decades or centuries in dry climates to naturally restore. Of the planet's 13 billion hectares of land mass, about 1 billion hectares of BSC supported soil have been damaged by human activity that has led to increased global desertification and airborne dust that exacerbates the effects of global warming. Once BSC activity declines, the vascular plants dependent on healthy soil decline, further reducing the ability of the land to produce crops, prevent erosion, and draw down CO2 from the atmosphere. Additionally, the use of factory fertilizers based on the energy-intensive Haber-Bosch process for fixing agricultural nitrogen increase levels of atmospheric CO2, pollute waterways with excess nitrogen run off, and deplete soil health and micronutrients.
The following prior art illustrates the progress made so far in the culturing and dissemination of cyanobacterial algae for the purpose of inoculating dry or damaged land with a living fertilizer in order to rejuvenate the biological soil crust, enable the growth of vascular plants, and sequester atmopheric CO2.
The use of cyanobacterial (blue-green) algae as a fertilizer has been proposed by U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,879,232 and 4,950,601, both to MacDonald et al., and by U.S. Pat. No. 4,921,803 to Nohr.
In U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2008/0236227 to Flynn (herein after referred to as “Flynn”), a biological culture of natural soil microorganisms is drawn from their normal residence in the top centimeter of healthy undisturbed soil found in un-shaded areas. These blue-green algae and their soil consortia can be cultured into an inoculant in a manner taught by Flynn and used to inoculate a photobioreactor (or PBR) where the culture is grown in liquid media with ready access to nutrients, carbon dioxide, and light. Once the culture has increased in mass sufficiently, the inoculant is harvested and dehydrated for storage and later dissemination across arid land. Additives may be added such as fungi, other bacteria, mineral salts, and xeri-protectants. Flynn reports that certain methods of particle reduction, such as grinding, can cause cell damage that results in a lower rate of recovery for the dried inoculant, once exposed to sun and water. Pelletizing the inoculant via extrusion enhances survivability, but may not be the ideal aerodynamic size and shape for wide- spread dissemination, such as by aircraft crop dusting.
U.S. Pat. No. 4,774,186 to Schaefer Jr. et al. (herein after referred to as “Schaefer”) discloses an aqueous suspension comprising water, algae, and a carrier which is applied to the soil using a conventional irrigation system. The carrier comprises water dispersible particles, such as clay, lactose and other additives. The carrier is mixed with algae that is in a resting stage (essentially dry, dormant, and revivable) to produce a dry, flowable mixture which is then added to water near the site of application. Because the carrier will eventually be dissolved in water prior to application, it may not have the homogeneity that a compounded mixture destined for dry dissemination would need.
Youngs, in U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2010/0224574 (herein after referred to as “Youngs”), teaches a method of water extraction from a culture of algae or other mixture. Herein, a culture of inoculant from a PBR is fed into a filter system that uses a capillary belt to efficiently remove the water from a desired soil inoculant, leaving a thin mat of moist algae that is substantially dry. Further dryers or air drying is employed to reduce the moist mat of algae to a dried and live flake that can be stored for later dissemination upon in arid land. Youngs, which is incorporated herein by reference, enables a large scale drying of algae and soil microorganisms to produce a viable algae particle.
The use of conventional PBR methods of culturing soil microorganisms in closed tanks results in a slow growth rate due to, among other reasons, sunlight penetrating the growth media by only centimeters, this growth rate being insufficient for large scale is production. U.S. Pat. No. 6,228,136 B1 issued to Riley et al (herein after referred to as “Riley”) teaches a method of growing thin-film cyanobacterial soil inoculant on a substrate made of hemp/cotton cloth and other materials. In Riley, the substrate provides for a faster growth rate since sunlight can easily penetrate a thin layer of growth media. The harvested substrate/algae is then dried and either laid onto the soil or chopped up and disseminated. Low temperature drying preserves the viability of the dried inoculant. Spools of substrate/algae can be wound up for more compact storage. The substrate pieces or sheets represent additional bulk and need to eventually disintegrate into the soil.
Underground injection of CO2 as a method of sequestering CO2 is proposed by Lackner in “A Guide To CO2 Sequestration”, SCIENCE Magazine, Vol. 300 Jun. 13, 2003. This CO2 is best provided by concentrated sources, such as industrial plants emitting CO2.
CO2 uptake by a growing culture of inoculant will vary by around a factor of 2 or more through a 24 hour cycle as the sunlight varies. The availability of higher concentrations of CO2 than are available from the atmosphere may enhance the growth rates of a culture, were they available. Also, emissions from an industrial source of CO2, such as a coal burning power plant, vary substantially across a day or days. There is currently no known coupling of an industrial source to a PBR culturing system that accounts for variations in industrial output.
Several shortcomings exist within the existing art that prevent large scale production, storage, and dissemination of a BSC inoculant. Rot and short shelf life of dried inoculant are key impediments; it is crucial that the inoculant is gently and thoroughly dried and preserved. Different soil types and dissemination methods require a different consortia of soil microorganisms having incompatible growth conditions, different optimum preservatives and nutrients, and different particle shape and size. For instance, aircraft crop dusting would likely require a different inoculant composition than land-based spreading or delivery through an irrigation system. What's needed is a flexible culturing and compounding system that can adapt the manufacturing process to maximally grow and preserve a symbiotic consortium of inoculant particles for a wide variety of target soil and dissemination methods on a large scale. Excess bulk, such as that created by a substrate method, should be avoided to eliminate the problem of decomposing substrate material and the additional bulk that would burden production, storage, and dissemination processes. There is therefore a need for a high capacity substrateless system of production. Also, the financial and technical challenges of any new technology requires leveraging any and all available synergies and options.
It is to be understood that the present invention includes a variety of different versions or embodiments, and this Summary is not meant to be limiting or all-inclusive.
In the general invention, a biological culture of natural soil microorganisms is drawn from the top centimeter or so of healthy undisturbed soil found in un-shaded areas, as taught by Flynn. Blue-green algae and the soil consortia are cultured into an inoculant within one or more photobioreactors (PBRs), as part of a PBR system. CO2 is optionally coupled into the closed PBR system through a storage buffer located above ground or within subterranean pore space in order to leverage sequestering incentives and to cope with variable rates of CO2 industrial emissions and culture uptake. The combined soil microorganisms are harvested and compounded using an integrated water extraction and compounding system, described further below. Admixes (additives) and coatings are added to create a wide variety of deliverable soil microorganisms products that can be spread upon targeted farmlands or damaged land using standard agricultural practices, such as crop dusting, mixing with irrigation water or applying with spreading machines. Particle shaping processes create final forms and densities to suit the needs of the final product. As microorganisms grow and propagate in and on the soil, their uptake of CO2 from the atmosphere increases proportionate with the population size, impinging sunlight, water availability, soil type and the occurrence of secondary vascular plant growth that might further increase the net primary productivity of the soil.
The one or more embodiments of the invention described herein includes improved methods for the production, application and utilization of cyanobacterial based photosynthetic soil fertilizer, herein also called by its prospective trade name of “TerraDerm.” An overview of these improvements and the role of TerraDerm are illustrated in FIG 1. As stated previously, soil microorganisms form a biological soil crust (“BSC”) that serves many functions, including gluing the soil grains in place, thereby limiting wind and water erosion, as well as providing fertilization and plant vitality.
The benefits of developing TerraDerm for commercial agriculture fertilization and, in fact for a global reseeding program, are numerous, and include:
This atmospheric carbon drawdown effect is expected to be highly significant as TerraDerm and the inventive production and application concepts described herein are commercially propagated. Through TerraDerm soil inoculation, its natural propagation on the soil, and secondary vascular plant growth enhancement, it has been estimated that the conversion of 1 ton of CO2 into TerraDerm then applied onto suitable soils can cause the drawdown of up to 50 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere annually through direct photosynthetic uptake of atmospheric gasses by that soil. Accordingly, the industrial community has interest in using TerraDerm production and applying this carbon multiplier drawdown effect to offset their atmospheric emissions of CO2.
PBRs may be an arrangement of 2 or more parallel PBRs that separately cultivate 2 or more components of the final consortium of cyanobacterial algae and other soil microorganisms which require differing growth conditions or nutrients. Two or more PBRs may be also arranged in series in order to scale carefully controlled culturing steps according to the desired volume and optimal growth rates, typically by a capacity factor of 10 times. A PBR system of parallel and series PBRs increases the efficiency of the culturing process, enabling large scale production and distribution.
After growing in the PBR (or PBR system), the soil microorganisms are harvested and compounded using an integrated water extraction and compounding system. Admixes are positioned within a water extraction and drying process to compound additives that have the properties of being nutritional, preservative, are biologics, or that augment the drying mat of microorganisms for optimal dissemination, such as by adding density through the addition of clay. Biologics in this context can be single or multicellular organisms, or bio-active substances, including seeds, that enhance soil colonization by TerraDerm. The extraction system is composed of a porous filter belt that conveys the algae or soil microorganisms toward a dry end while extracting water via an underlying capillary belt. As water is removed, interstitial space makes room for the addition of admix compounds. The positioning of admixing and the rate of compounding are chosen to accommodate the wetness or dryness of the drying mat so that admix losses are minimized and binding is maximized. If the admix is combined to an overly wet portion of the extracted mat of microorganism, a greater portion of the admix will be extracted. Generally, a dry admix is positioned toward the end of the water-extracting portion of the conveying filter belt. After water extraction, but before final drying, a wet admix dispenser may be used to apply wet admix to the drying cake of algae and admix. Wet admix is positioned to ideally drive the dry admix into the moist mat or cake of soil microorganisms.
After admixing, a drying process ensures that the storage life of TerraDerm particles is adequate; generally a year or more is desirable. Coatings may be applied, after drying and shaping the particles, to create the TerraDerm product, which is spread upon farmlands or damaged land using standard agricultural practices, such as crop dusting, mixing with irrigation water or applying with spreading machines. Once on the soil surface, the natural availability of carbon dioxide and nitrogen in air, along with available participation or irrigation water and sunlight, causes the TerraDerm to induct a growing colony of soil microorganisms in proportion to the growth conditions for that specific consortium of microorganisms. The consortium of microorganisms in a locally adapted TerraDerm is preferably picked from local soil samples representing the best “Target Outcome” that could be expected from a soil crust reseeding effort of similar local soils. When this is done and the TerraDerm is spread to sufficient surface density, then the crust will reestablish at an accelerated rate well in advance of natural propagation. In land reclamation efforts, sufficient application density is approximately 0.1 to 2 TerraDerm particles placed per square cm. In agricultural applications where accelerated fertilization performance is required, sufficient application density is approximately 1 to 20 TerraDerm particles 26 per square cm.
Referring still to
The various admixes optionally to be included are also desired to remain physically s associated with the microorganism consortium in the same relative proportions, even as the composite admix/biomass flake is reduced in size by granulation. By even layering and infusing of the admix homogeneously across the flake as the flake is being generated, then these relative proportions of admix/biomass can be maintained during the granulation and particle coating process. The dry admix components are further added as the biomass mat begins to consolidate, which helps to mechanically consolidate the dry admix with the biomass by entrapping some of the dry admix in the filaments of the consolidating cyanobacteria. The dry hopper dribbles dry admix onto Youngs' web belt between the first roller and the second roller as the belt begins to leave contact with the capillary belt of Youngs' apparatus. The amount of dry admix dribbled on the belt will be between 0.5 and 10x the dry equivalent mass of the microorganisms it is being dribbled on, The wet admix is typically, but not exclusively, a sugar based composition of xeri-protectants and heterotrophic consortium member nutrition additives that serve to bind and glue all the components together as it dries. Using an actual mucilage or other water soluble glue for this purpose, or a solvent based UV degradable binder, is to be considered as well for this purpose. The wet admix hopper is positioned to spray liquid admix onto the web belt after Youngs' web belt leaves contact with the capillary belt between the second roller and the third roller.
Admixes consist of nutritional elements, preservatives, biologics, and elements that prepare TerraDerm for dissemination. Biologics in this context can be single or multicellular organisms or bio-active substances, including seeds, that affect soil colonization by TerraDerm. The following are optional admixes acid their purpose:
Of course it should be recognized the above admix administration could be accomplished with other biomass extraction and drying equipment beyond Youngs' to include in a non-limiting fashion forms of spray drying including fluidized spray drying and fluidized granulation, refractive window belt drying and drum drying. Although not the current preferred embodiment, all of these methods allow that same homogeneous layering of admixes.
The purpose of this invention's processes in
There are many kinds of batch and continuous coater technologies that would be suitable for applying the optional coating admixes to the outside of the particle. The preferred method is a continuous coating process, of which the shown Hunttlin coater is an example. Coating substances may be selected to provide the following functions: anti-caking, anti-friction, delayed-release, spread pattern tracers, tackiflers, biologics and others in this non-inclusive list.
The prospective purpose of these listed coatings is recounted below:
In one embodiment, a large scale PBR or array of PBRs is employed in a commercial scale-up of TerraDerm production. A PBR will not consume CO2 at night, and in fact, will produce a little CO2 at night itself as the microorganisms oxidize their internal food reserves to provide operational energy. Additionally, during inclement weather when the sun does not shine, the PBRs will not consume CO2 either. Accordingly, a system of PBRs needs to have a buffer storage system for CO2 if it is to rate match with a constant delivery stream typically envisioned to be provided by industry. In this scheme, the PBR would draw down on its own stored CO2 reserves when the sun is shining strongly and the reserves would accumulate at night or when the weather is inclement. Nominally, it is conceived that a 1 week (approximately 1 ton per half acre of PBR area) CO2 buffer reserve will be sufficient to damp out most diurnal and weather related uptake variations. At standard temperature and pressure, 1 ton of CO2 has a density of approximately 2 grams/liter and will occupy a volume of 500,000 liters or 500 cubic meters. For frame of reference, a gas exchange housing associated with a PBR of half acre size is conceived to be 15 meters wide and 10 meters long. If this 1 week supply of CO2 were contained in an inflatable bladder covering the gas exchange end housing area, then the bladder would stand on average about 3.3 meters high when full. Accordingly it is conceivable that each half acre of PBR area can be associated with inflatable structures that double as gas storage enclosures. However, one would not want the rain or snow shedding capabilities of such a structure to degrade as they are deflated, so the use of a permanently inflated structure with an inner gas separation barrier is far more practical from an architectural standpoint.
There are two kinds of CO2 storage shown in FIG. 6 and they do not need to be used together, but are used together in the preferred embodiment. In this concept, algae farm locations are partially selected by virtue of having leasable or own-able carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) “pore-space” in the geologic strata beneath them. There is a legal/regulatory and technical synergy available to operators of both operations by locating an algal farm over a CCS repository. While we as a country have not yet fully settled on the legal regulatory requirements for CCS, strict monitoring of the landscapes over the sequestration sites to detect potential leaks will be important. One way to achieve this is to own the land over the CCS sites, and by having an algal farm built over the sites the farm will have a vast buffer of CO2 reserves during the years it may require to fully fund and build out a fully scaled algal facility. Nominal calculations of the underground CO2 plume size in a CCS project show that for a given tract of land the CCS storage capacity would be about 30 times the yearly uptake of CO2 by an algal farm laid over an equivalent stretch of land on the surface. Accordingly, certain financial and regulatory synergies could be enabled by beginning an underground CCS project on a site in the near-term, while committing to build a similar scale algal farm on top of the reserve site over the ensuing decades, In this way, the CO2 uptake capacity of a specific CCS/Algal farm site would never saturate and could evolve into a long-term source of products (TerraDerm being one of many potential algal based products) manufactured photosynthetically by algae from the CO2.
In an additional and important embodiment, a similar storage system could be built to accommodate the oxygen produced by algal farms and subsequently to deliver that oxygen to industry or on-site used through pipeline systems similar to the CO2 pipeline systems described above. The oxygen storage can be located in independent inflated structures, or can share the same structure as the CO2 storage by simply employing a second loose diaphragm separated partition within the same overall pressurized structure that the CO2 storage uses.
As used herein, “at least one,” “one or more,” and “and/or” are open-ended expressions that are both conjunctive and disjunctive in operation. For example, each of the expressions “at least one of A, B and C,” “at least one of A, B, or C,” “one or more of A, B, and C,” “one or more of A, B, or C” and “A, B, and/or C” means A alone, B alone, C alone, A and B together, A and C together, B and C together, or A, B and C together.
All values, dimensions and ranges as provided herein and in the associated figures are exemplary and given for purposes of enablement and are not to be considered limiting unless claimed; accordingly, other values, dimensions and ranges are within the scope of the invention.
Various embodiments of the present inventions are set forth in the attached figures and in the Detailed Description as provided herein and as embodied by the claims. It should be understood, however, that this Summary does not contain all of the aspects and embodiments of the one or more present inventions, is not meant to be limiting or restrictive in any manner, and that the invention(s) as disclosed herein islare understood by those of ordinary skill in the art to encompass obvious improvements and modifications thereto.
Additional advantages of the present invention will become readily apparent from the following discussion, particularly when taken together with the accompanying drawings.
To further clarify the above and other advantages and features of the present invention, a more particular description of the invention is rendered by reference to specific embodiments thereof which are illustrated in the appended drawings. It is appreciated that these drawings depict only typical embodiments of the invention and are therefore not to be is considered limiting of its scope. The invention is described and explained with additional specificity and detail through the use of the accompanying drawings in which:
In FIG. 2. an inoculation PBR 9 is followed by one or more amplifier PBRs 10, and maybe followed by one or more production PBRs 10. Amplifier and production PBRs 10 may be in series and/or parallel arrangement in which separate cultures are grown and/or concatenated, finally combined to feed belt filtering system 15. Inoculation PBR 9 releases the organisms from the Target Outcome soil 8 and begins growing a population facsimile within the PBR's liquid medium. The population generated by the inoculation PBR 9 should have substantially the same or otherwise sufficient microorganism consortia members and in roughly substantially the same or otherwise sufficient balance as they were present natively in the soil. The inoculation PBR operator uses input and output population and growth media assay data 111 to adjust controller 112, which regulates inputs 113 such as light, pH, temperature, CO2 and nutrient levels, as well as mixing speed, to effect the desired growth rate and population balance characteristics on the output of the incubator. In a similar fashion, the amplifier and production PBR operator looks at the population and growth media assay 211 and 311 between the input and output of the PBRs and adjusts controller 212, which regulates inputs 213 to effect the desired result. PBRs typically need to be inoculated by the fully populated media from a PBR 1/10 their size, and so amplifier PBRs are often designed in decade-size steps to finally create the inoculant quantity needed for the production PBR. At any step in the amplification or production PBR chain, the system can be used to continuously re-inoculate itself by simply not harvesting all the microorganisms, but leaving a sufficient “starter batch” behind. In all these processes, preferably the operator adjusts the growing conditions (or causes them to be adjusted) to maintain the desired growth rate and population ratio needed for the final product. In some cases, the desired product population ratio may be different from that found in the Target Outcome soil, but will affect a better result upon application via that difference.
Referring again to
In this context, “intimate” means that admixes are layered upon, and infused into, the web of algae 33. Each flake portion represents the same population ratios as is found in the PBR culture. An advantage of using Youngs' technology is that the dewatering process is gentle and effective, leaving another approximately 30% by weight in water to be removed later on the belt's path by low temperature evaporation.
In Youngs, experiments show that the solids content is typically about 10% at the beginning—the wet end—of the dewatering process, and in the range of 18-25% at the end of the dewatering process. The texture of the biomass after dewatering is moist, and is described as a cake. Moisture content will vary substantially with differing varieties of algae and other types of dewatered biomass, as it will with the speed of the conveying filter belt. Assuming an additional 7% (=25%-18%) of variability will occur with other untested biomass types and with varying belt speed, one might expect the solids content reported in Youngs' experiments to broaden to a 14-28% range at the end of the dewatering process in the wide range of applications anticipated for the invention being described.
The use of gentle and low temperature drying processes serves to preserve the growth viability of the TerraDerm microorganisms. Generally, it is preferred that drying temperatures remain below 140 degrees Fahrenheit to preserve the capacity of TerraDerm to revive in the presence of sunlight and water because 140 degrees is a maximum BSC temperature occurring on hot sunlit land where microorganisms remain viable. However, other kinds of drying, whether radiant, convective, or extractive, may have maximum temperatures that differ from 140 degrees Fahrenheit depending on whether the temperature is measured at the surface of the microorganisms, in the air, or at a source of heat. Additionally, slower or faster drying times will likely have different maximum temperatures that still preserve the viability of dried TerraDerm particles.
Coating substances, as mentioned earlier, may be selected to provide the following functions: anti-caking, anti-friction, delayed-release, spread pattern tracers, tackifiers, biologics and others in this non-inclusive list.
In an additional and important embodiment, a similar storage system would be built to accommodate the oxygen produced by algal farms and subsequently to deliver that oxygen to industry or on-site used through pipeline systems similar to the CO2 pipeline systems described above. The oxygen storage can be located in independent inflated structures, or can share the same structure as the CO2 storage by simply employing a second loose diaphragm separated partition within the same overall pressurized structure that the CO2 storage uses.
The present invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from its spirit or essential characteristics. The described embodiments are to be considered in all respects only as illustrative and not restrictive. The scope of the invention is, therefore, indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description. All changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are to be embraced within their scope.
The one or more present inventions, in various embodiments, include components, methods, processes, systems and/or apparatus substantially as depicted and described herein, including various embodiments, subcombinations, and subsets thereof. Those of skill in the art will understand how to make and use the present invention after understanding the present disclosure.
The present invention, in various embodiments, includes providing devices and processes in the absence of items not depicted and/or described herein or in various embodiments hereof, including in the absence of such items as may have been used in previous devices or processes (e.g., for improving performance; achieving ease and/or reducing cost of implementation).
The foregoing discussion of the invention has been presented for purposes of illustration and description. The foregoing is not intended to limit the invention to the form or forms disclosed herein. In the foregoing Detailed Description for example, various features of the invention are grouped together in one or more embodiments for the purpose of streamlining the disclosure. This method of disclosure is not to be interpreted as reflecting an intention that the claimed invention requires more features than are expressly recited in each claim. Rather, as the following claims reflect, inventive aspects lie in less than all features of a single foregoing disclosed embodiment. Thus, the following claims are hereby incorporated into this Detailed Description, with each claim standing on its own as a separate preferred embodiment of the invention.
Moreover, though the description of the invention has included description of one or more embodiments and certain variations and modifications, other variations and modifications are within the scope of the invention (e.g., as may be within the skill and knowledge of those in the art, after understanding the present disclosure). It is intended to obtain rights which include alternative embodiments to the extent permitted, including alternate, interchangeable and/or equivalent structures, functions, ranges or steps to those claimed, whether or not such alternate, interchangeable and/or equivalent structures, functions, ranges or steps are disclosed herein, and without intending to publicly dedicate any patentable subject matter.
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|U.S. Classification||71/6, 435/289.1, 47/48.5, 47/1.4, 435/177, 504/117, 435/170|
|International Classification||C12N1/12, C05F11/08, A01G7/00|
|Cooperative Classification||A01G2013/004, A01G13/0262, C05F11/00, C12N1/04, Y02P60/24, C05F11/08, C12N1/12|
|European Classification||C12N1/12, C12N1/04|