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Evaluation of a contraction flow field on hydrodynamic damage to entomopathogenic nematodes-A biological pest control agent

Evaluation of a contraction flow field on hydrodynamic damage to entomopathogenic nematodes-A biological pest control agent

Biotechnology and Bioengineering 86(1): 96-107

Mechanized production and delivery of biological pesticides presents challenges because the biological agents must remain viable during these processes. This study evaluates the effect of flow through an abrupt contraction, where flow characteristics similar to that found within bioprocesses and spray equipment are developed, on damage to a benchmark biological pest control agent, entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs). An opposed-pistons, contraction flow device generated volumetric flow rates ranging between 8.26 cm(3)/s and 41.3 cm(3)/s. Four EPN species were evaluated: Heterorhabditis bacteriophora, Heterorhabditis megidis, Steinernema carpocapsae, and Steinernema glaseri. Damage was quantified by counting living and dead EPNs. Optical and cold field emission scanning electron microscope (CFE-SEM) images provided qualitative information to describe how the damage occurred. The experimental flow field was completely described using FLUENT, a computational fluid dynamics program. Local flow parameters computed in FLUENT were compared to EPN damage. The type and extent of damage varied between EPN species. Damaged Heterorhabditis spp. generally remained whole with an internal rupture located near the center of the body, while Steinernema spp. most often broke into several pieces. The fast-transient stress field generated at the entrance to the contraction caused a momentary tensile loading and then relaxation that damaged the EPNs. At high flow rates, the tensile stresses became large enough to cause failure of the EPN structural membrane. The relative elasticity of the EPN structural membrane may explain the differences in damage observed between the species. It is speculated that the internal rupture of the Heterorhabditis spp. occurred during the processes of stretching and relaxing at the contraction entrance. Appreciable damage was observed at lower average energy dissipation rates for H. bacteriophora (1.23E + 8 W/m(3)), H. megidis (1.72E + 8 W/m(3)), and S. glaseri (2.89E + 8 W/m(3)) compared to S. carpocapsae (3.70E + 8 W/m(3)). Energy dissipation rates within an equipment component should be kept below 1E + 8 W/m(3) to avoid hydrodynamic damage to EPNs. The relationship between average energy dissipation and EPN damage provides important information for future simulation efforts of actual spray equipment components.

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Accession: 048993362

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 15007846

DOI: 10.1002/bit.10879

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