Navigation Links
BESC scores a first with isobutanol directly from cellulose
Date:3/7/2011

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., March 7, 2011 In the quest for inexpensive biofuels, cellulose proved no match for a bioprocessing strategy and genetically engineered microbe developed by researchers at the Department of Energy's BioEnergy Science Center.

Using consolidated bioprocessing, a team led by James Liao of the University of California at Los Angeles for the first time produced isobutanol directly from cellulose. The team's work, published online in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, represents across-the-board savings in processing costs and time, plus isobutanol is a higher grade of alcohol than ethanol.

"Unlike ethanol, isobutanol can be blended at any ratio with gasoline and should eliminate the need for dedicated infrastructure in tanks or vehicles," said Liao, chancellor's professor and vice chair of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science. "Plus, it may be possible to use isobutanol directly in current engines without modification."

Compared to ethanol, higher alcohols such as isobutanol are better candidates for gasoline replacement because they have an energy density, octane value and Reid vapor pressure a measurement of volatility that is much closer to gasoline, Liao said.

While cellulosic biomass like corn stover and switchgrass is abundant and cheap, it is much more difficult to utilize than corn and sugar cane. This is due in large part because of recalcitrance, or a plant's natural defenses to being chemically dismantled.

Adding to the complexity is the fact biofuel production that involves several steps pretreatment, enzyme treatment and fermentation is more costly than a method that combines biomass utilization and the fermentation of sugars to biofuel into a single process.

To make the conversion possible, Liao and postdoctoral researcher Wendy Higashide of UCLA and Yongchao Li and Yunfeng Yang of Oak Ridge National Laboratory had to develop a strain of Clostridium celluloyticum, a native cellulose-degrading microbe, that could synthesize isobutanol directly from cellulose.

"This work is based on our earlier work at UCLA in building a synthetic pathway for isobutanol production," Liao said.

While some Clostridium species produce butanol, these organisms typically do not digest cellulose directly. Other Clostridium species digest cellulose but do not produce butanol. None produce isobutanol, an isomer of butanol.

"In nature, no microorganisms have been identified that possess all of the characteristics necessary for the ideal consolidated bioprocessing strain, so we knew we had to genetically engineer a strain for this purpose," Li said.

While there were many possible microbial candidates, the research team ultimately chose Clostridium cellulolyticum, which was originally isolated from decayed grass. The researchers noted that their strategy exploits the host's natural cellulolytic activity and the amino acid biosynthetic pathway and diverts its intermediates to produce higher alcohol than ethanol.

The researchers also noted that Clostridium cellulolyticum has been genetically engineered to improve ethanol production, and this has led to additional more detailed research. Clostridium cellulolyticum has a sequenced genome available via DOE's Joint Genome Institute. This proof of concept research sets the stage for studies that will likely involve genetic manipulation of other consolidated bioprocessing microorganisms.


'/>"/>

Contact: Ron Walli
wallira@ornl.gov
865-576-0226
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Potential CITES trade ban for rare salamander underscores wildlife e-commerce
2. Students learn environmental stewardship, improve science scores
3. Childrens blood lead levels linked to lower test scores
4. Structural biology scores with protein snapshot
5. Infant formula adulteration with melamine underscores need for better detection methods
6. Nobel Laureate underscores importance of investment in basic research
7. Teenage boys who eat fish at least once a week achieve higher intelligence scores
8. For first time, scientists show an HIV vaccine impacts the genetic makeup of the virus
9. Canadian researchers first worldwide to generate pluripotent stem cells from horses
10. Erlotinib effective and with fewer side-effects after first-line treatment
11. First harmful algal bloom species genome sequenced
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/22/2016)... 2016 According to ... for Consumer Industry by Type (Image, Motion, Pressure, ... & IT, Entertainment, Home Appliances, & Wearable ... 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market for ... USD 26.76 Billion by 2022, at a ...
(Date:3/17/2016)... March 17, 2016 ABI Research, the ... the global biometrics market will reach more than ... increase from 2015. Consumer electronics, particularly smartphones, continue ... sensors anticipated to reach two billion shipments by ... Dimitrios Pavlakis , Research Analyst at ABI Research. ...
(Date:3/14/2016)... Allemagne, March 14, 2016 ... - --> - Renvoi : image disponible ... --> --> DERMALOG, ... fournit de nouveaux lecteurs d,empreintes digitales pour l,enregistrement ... DERMALOG sera utilisé pour produire des cartes d,identité ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/18/2016)... -- The Biotech industry continues to face a ... are no opportunities ahead. Today, ActiveWallSt.com has on its list ... ), Seattle Genetics Inc. (NASDAQ: SGEN ), Chiasma ... OPHT ). Sign up now to receive our ... Threshold Pharmaceuticals Inc.,s shares gained 0.68%, closing ...
(Date:5/18/2016)... Muncie, IN (PRWEB) , ... May 18, 2016 , ... ... 1970, and is now celebrating its dream of reaching a total of $1 million ... in scholarships awarded to 10 high school graduates from across the nation has helped ...
(Date:5/17/2016)... ... May 17, 2016 , ... DryLet, ... reduction applications, announced today it will be showcasing ManureMagic™ at booth V1061 at ... featured in the Wall Street Journal last year and more recently made news ...
(Date:5/17/2016)... ... May 17, 2016 , ... The Children’s Tumor Foundation is enthusiastic to announce ... will show their support in the fight against neurofibromatosis (NF) by lighting up blue ... disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body. It affects 1 ...
Breaking Biology Technology: