Could lead to a 50 percent increase in the production of biofuels
The new pathway is intended to replace the natural metabolic pathway known as glycolysis, a series of chemical reactions that nearly all organisms use to convert sugars into the molecular precursors that cells need. Glycolysis converts four of the six carbon atoms found in glucose into two-carbon molecules known acetyl-CoA, a precursor to biofuels like ethanol and butanol, as well as fatty acids, amino acids and pharmaceuticals. However, the two remaining glucose carbons are lost as carbon dioxide.
Glycolysis is currently used in biorefinies to convert sugars derived from plant biomass into biofuels, but the loss of two carbon atoms for every six that are input is seen as a major gap in the efficiency of the process. The UCLA research team’s synthetic glycolytic pathway converts all six glucose carbon atoms into three molecules of acetyl-CoA without losing any as carbon dioxide.
The research is published online Sept. 29 in the peer-reviewed journal Nature.
The principal investigator on the research is James Liao, UCLA’s Ralph M. Parsons Foundation Professor of Chemical Engineering and chair of the chemical and biomolecular engineering department. Igor Bogorad, a graduate student in Liao’s laboratory, is the lead author.
“This pathway solved one of the most significant limitations in biofuel production and biorefining: losing one-third of carbon from carbohydrate raw materials,” Liao said. “This limitation was previously thought to be insurmountable because of the way glycolysis evolved.”
This synthetic pathway uses enzymes found in several distinct pathways in nature.
The team first tested and confirmed that the new pathway worked in vitro. Then, they genetically engineered E. coli bacteria to use the synthetic pathway and demonstrated complete carbon conservation. The resulting acetyl-CoA molecules can be used to produce a desired chemical with higher carbon efficiency. The researchers dubbed their new hybrid pathway non-oxidative glycolysis, or NOG.
“This is a fundamentally new cycle,” Bogorad said. “We rerouted the most central metabolic pathway and found a way to increase the production of acetyl-CoA. Instead of losing carbon atoms to CO2, you can now conserve them and improve your yields and produce even more product.”
The researchers also noted that this new synthetic pathway could be used with many kinds of sugars, which in each case have different numbers of carbon atoms per molecule, and no carbon would be wasted.
“For biorefining, a 50 percent improvement in yield would be a huge increase,” Bogorad said. “NOG can be a nice platform with different sugars for a 100 percent conversion to acetyl-CoA. We envision that NOG will have wide-reaching applications and will open up many new possibilities because of the way we can conserve carbon.”
The Latest on: Sugars into biofuels
- Raw sugar, arabica at five-week lows as real weakens, oil plunges on November 14, 2018 at 4:17 am
A sharp downturn in oil and gasoline prices also weighed on sugar, prompting concerns that ethanol demand could be dented ... there is little aggressive buying for the producers to sell into,” Nick Pe... […]
- Brazil mills extend cane crushing due to rains; focus on fuel on November 12, 2018 at 5:34 am
SAO PAULO, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Mills in Brazil's center-south region will likely extend their crushing operations later into the year than ... Plants remained keen on ethanol production despite recent ... […]
- Sugar: Lower output is good for prices but can turn into risk on November 11, 2018 at 5:29 pm
The expected increase in ethanol output will see some diversion away from sugar. That will further lower the sugar output. Chances are that this estimate will keep changing as the crushing season prog... […]
- DCM Shriram bags 40,000-tonne sugar export order on November 8, 2018 at 3:19 am
Interest subsidy is also being offered for creating ethanol capacity. In 2017-18 ... 2017-18 marketing year and the same would be cleared soon. Apart from sugar, DCM Shriram is into fertilisers, seeds ... […]
- DCM Shriram bullish on sugar business; chalks out Rs 6.6 bn expansion plan on November 8, 2018 at 1:22 am
Interest subsidy is also being offered for creating ethanol capacity. in 2017-18 marketing year ... 2017-18 marketing year and the same would be cleared soon. Apart from sugar, DCM Shriram is into fer... […]
- DCM Shriram contracts 40,000 ton of sugar export; expanding ethanol capacity on November 8, 2018 at 12:01 am
Interest subsidy is also being offered for creating ethanol capacity ... and the same would be cleared soon. Apart from sugar, DCM Shriram is into fertilisers, seeds, chemicals, cement and ... […]
- Thailand draws biochemical investment to absorb sugar glut on November 7, 2018 at 8:11 am
beginning with biofuel by producing ethanol from molasses, a by-product of the sugar-crushing process. State-owned oil and gas group PTT set up a joint-venture with Japan's Mitsubishi Chemical to ... […]
- Natural, Yeast-Derived Proteins Curb Bacterial Contamination in Ethanol Production on November 1, 2018 at 4:08 am
These tend to thrive under ethanol fermentation. Once these bacteria make their way into the ethanol fermentation mash, they begin eating the precious sugars and producing lactic acid, effectively put... […]
- Top Scenario: Advanced Biofuels Market by Key Vendors: Sundrop Fuels, LanzaTech, Green Biologics 2018-2025 on October 31, 2018 at 6:25 pm
Advanced biofuels can be manufactured by using various types of biomass like, lignocellulose, non-corn starch & sugar. Advanced biofuels mostly ... in R&D to develop technologies to convert biomass in... […]
via Google News and Bing News