Biofuels pioneer Mascoma LLC and the Department of Energy’s BioEnergy Science Center have developed a revolutionary strain of yeast that could help significantly accelerate the development of biofuels from nonfood plant matter.
The approach could provide a pathway to eventual expansion of biofuels production beyond the current output limited to ethanol derived from corn.
C5 FUEL™, engineered by researchers at Mascoma and BESC, features fermentation and ethanol yields that set a new standard for conversion of biomass sugars from pretreated corn stover—the non-edible portion of corn crops such as the stalk—converting up to 97 percent of the plant sugars into fuel.
Researchers announced that while conventional yeast leaves more than one-third of the biomass sugars unused in the form of xylose, Mascoma’s C5 FUEL™ efficiently converts this xylose into ethanol, and it accomplishes this feat in less than 48 hours. The finding was presented today at the 31st International Fuel Ethanol Workshop in Minneapolis.
“The ability to partner the combined expertise at Mascoma and BESC in engineering microbes to release and convert sugars from lignocellulosic biomass has greatly accelerated the translation of basic research outcomes to a commercial product,” BESC Director Paul Gilna said.
Gilna noted that this success and continued efforts through BESC could go a long way toward reducing the cost of ethanol and growing the number of commercial-level ethanol production plants. A key focus of BESC is to use basic research capabilities and expertise to validate the consolidated bioprocessing approach to improve cost competitiveness.
“Driving down the cost to develop, verify and consolidate bioprocessing was at the heart of the BESC effort when we began in 2007, and this achievement allows us to advance to the next challenge,” Gilna said. “This accomplishment represents a clearly impactful example of how our partnering with industry can accelerate the translation of our research capabilities and findings into commercial products.”
Although cellulosic biomass such as corn stover, wheat straw and bagasse (the fibrous remains after sugar is extracted from sugarcane or sorghum) is abundant and cheap, because of recalcitrance — a plant’s resistance to releasing sugars for conversion to alcohol – it is much more difficult to utilize than corn. However, Mascoma’s new strain of yeast, which is one of many strains Mascoma developed as part of BESC over the last two years, proved highly effective at xylose conversion.
While most processing methods simply convert cellulose to sugar, this new approach also converts hemicellulose, which significantly increases overall sugar yield and thereby increases the level of ethanol produced. In fact, the new strain of yeast simultaneously yields 97 percent conversion of xylose and glucose—and does so in a significantly shorter period of time than existing approaches.
The Latest on: Engineering microbes for biofuel production
via Google News
The Latest on: Engineering microbes for biofuel production
- NSF grant to fund research into 'microcleaners' for waterwayson October 8, 2020 at 9:59 am
Engineers from Cornell University and North Carolina State University have proposed a creative solution: an army of swimming, self-propelled biomaterials called 'microcleaners' that scavenge and ...
- Bacterial cellulose degradation system could give boost to biofuels productionon October 7, 2020 at 5:00 pm
Researchers have uncovered details of how a certain type of bacteria breaks down cellulose -- a finding that could help reduce the cost and environmental impact of the use of biomass, including ...
- Bacteria fed on a customized diet produce biodegradable polymers for alternative packaging in the cosmetics industryon October 1, 2020 at 7:32 am
Germany generates around 38 kilograms of plastic waste per capita each year. In a joint project with the University of Stuttgart and LCS Life Cycle Simulation, researchers from the Fraunhofer ...
- Researchers Working To Grow Algae For Biofuels In The Dark Using Solar Energyon September 21, 2020 at 12:28 pm
Hann is working with university Chemical and Environmental Engineering Professor Robert ... Hann says the startup costs for a biofuel production facility using this system would include solar ...
- Genetic Engineering Across the Tree of Lifeon September 21, 2020 at 7:47 am
Industrial bioengineering is now using genetically modified microbes to produce a wide array of products at industrial scale, including everything from biofuels to nutraceuticals such as resveratrol.
- ‘Sea sludge’ could solve current problems with biofuelson August 30, 2020 at 11:45 pm
What many consider sea sludge may in fact offer a solution to enhance oil production ... biofuels with this system. They also know the entire genomes of both organisms and could use genetic ...
- Biofuels could be made from bacteria that grow in seawater rather than from crude oilon October 17, 2019 at 6:39 am
Effective biofuels strategies require the economic production of fuels derived from a robust ... the genes out of the plant and inserting the information into bacteria. With this engineering feat, ...
- Biofuels/Bioproductson January 18, 2016 at 10:48 pm
This work includes aviation biofuels, development of new knowledge on microbial and protein based bioprocesses ... and bioprocess engineering. The goal is to reduce cost of production of Gen 2 ...
- Study: Panda Poo May Be Coup for Future of Biofuelson September 10, 2013 at 11:42 am
Harvey Blanch, professor of chemical engineering at ... that are currently used in biofuel production. Next, researchers would have to prove that panda gut bacteria could be produced at a price ...
- Biobutanol: The Next Big Biofuel?on November 7, 2011 at 9:27 pm
It's touted as a superior renewable fuel but challenges have stymied the industrial-scale production of biobutanol ... in the design of process technologies and the engineering of microbes aimed at ...
via Bing News