Navigation Links
NC State wins ARPA-E grant to study extremophile production of biofuels
Date:4/30/2010

The U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E) has awarded a grant for more than $2.7 million to North Carolina State University to support research into the creation of biofuels using microbial organisms, called extremophiles, that live in high-temperature environments.

"Most biofuels, such as ethanol and butanol, are created by fermenting sugars produced by plants through photosynthesis. Our project would cut out the middle man by using organisms that utilize carbon dioxide and hydrogen to produce biofuels directly," says Dr. Robert Kelly, the principal investigator under the grant and Alcoa Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and director of the Biotechnology Program at NC State. Kelly will be performing the research funded by the grant in conjunction with co-principal investigator Dr. Michael Adams of the University of Georgia.

The grant will fund research revolving around extremophiles primitive organisms found in fresh water or saltwater that evolved before photosynthetic organisms, and which are found in hydrothermal environments with temperatures ranging from 75 to 100 degrees Celsius (167 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit). Specifically, Kelly and Adams will be working with the microbes Metallosphaera sedula and Pyrococcus furiosus.

These microbes take carbon dioxide from the environment and produce complex molecules, including one called acetyl-CoA that can serve as a building block for biofuels. The researchers plan to genetically engineer Pyrococcus to include elements of Metallosphaera, creating a "superbug" that would be capable of taking carbon dioxide and hydrogen and producing biofuels. The researchers hope to engineer the microbes to produce butanol.

"One of the advantages of using these microbes is that they do well at high temperatures, and biofuel facilities will need to use high-temperatures to distill biofuels from the water where the organisms live," Kelly says. "Because of their heat tolerance, the microbes will continue to thrive even as the biofuels are being distilled, which makes the process significantly more efficient."

Furthermore, Kelly says, the microbes do not need light. That means that a facility that uses the microbes to create biofuels could be set up anywhere even underground.

The ARPA-E grant is for $2.729 million over three years. ARPA-E was created in 2007 to fund projects that foster energy independence, reduce energy-related emissions, improve energy efficiency and promote U.S. leadership in the development and use of advanced energy technologies.


'/>"/>

Contact: Matt Shipman
matt_shipman@ncsu.edu
919-515-6386
North Carolina State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Obesity and the central nervous system -- the state of the art
2. University of Minnesota study refutes belief that black men have more aggressive prostate cancer
3. Iowa State University conference examines developing bioeconomy
4. University and state agencies to forecast local health effects of climate change
5. K-State Veterinary Lab routinely tests for bluetongue virus
6. New prostate cancer research findings
7. Iowa State professors genome research published in the latest issue of Science
8. Leading researchers to reveal comprehensive dos and donts for prostate cancer
9. K-State chemistry professor to receive Masao Horiba award
10. K-State sociologists use Department of Energy grant
11. NIH grants $33 M in institutional development awards to 3 states
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/20/2016)... Securus Technologies, a leading provider of ... safety, investigation, corrections and monitoring announced that after ... secured the final acceptance by all three (3) ... Systems (MAS) installed. Furthermore, Securus will have contracts ... by October, 2016. MAS distinguishes between legitimate wireless ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... leader in attendance control systems is proud to announce the introduction of fingerprint attendance ... the right employees are actually signing in, and to even control the opening of ... ... ... Photo - ...
(Date:6/3/2016)... , June 3, 2016 ... Management) von Nepal ... und Lieferung hochsicherer geprägter Kennzeichen, einschließlich Personalisierung, ... führend in der Produktion und Implementierung von ... der Ausschreibung im Januar teilgenommen, aber Decatur ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... HOUSTON , June 23, 2016 ... agreement with the Cy-Fair Sports Association to serve ... of the agreement, Houston Methodist Willowbrook will provide ... education and connectivity with association coaches, volunteers, athletes ... partner with the Cy-Fair Sports Association and to ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... today announced the launch of the Supplyframe Design Lab . Located in ... to explore the future of how hardware projects are designed, built and brought ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 ... 2016;12(1):22-8 http://doi.org/10.17925/OHR.2016.12.01.22 Published recently ... peer-reviewed journal from touchONCOLOGY, Andrew D Zelenetz ... of cancer care is placing an increasing burden ... expensive biologic therapies. With the patents on many ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN ) today announced a ... sciences incubator to accelerate the development of new therapies ... QB3@953 was created to help high-potential life science and ... stage organizations - access to laboratory infrastructure. ... "Amgen Golden Ticket" awards, providing each winner with one ...
Breaking Biology Technology: