Daejeon, Republic of Korea, October 23, 2012Fuels including gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel are derived from fossil oil thorough the petroleum refinery processes. Increased concerns over environmental problems and limited fossil resources drive scientists and researchers to turn their attention to developing fossil-free, bio-based processes for the production of fuels from renewable non-food biomass. Utilizing systems metabolic engineering, a Korean research team at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) has succeeded in demonstrating an optimized process to increase butanol production by generating an engineered bacterium.
In the paper published in mBio, a broad-scope, online-only, and open access journal issued by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), on October 23 as a featured article, Distinguished Professor Sang Yup Lee at the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, KAIST, a premier science and engineering university in Korea, Dr. Do Young Seung at GS Caltex, a large oil refining company in Korea, and Dr. Yu-Sin Jang at BioFuelChem, a startup butanol company in Korea, applied a systems metabolic engineering approach to improve the production of butanol through enhancing the performance of Clostridium acetobutylicum, one of the best known butanol-producing bacteria.
Microorganisms have proven to be efficient biocatalysts for the production of biofuels from various sources of biomass in an environmentally-friendly way. However, the microorganisms isolated from nature are often inefficient for the economical production of desired products at an industrial scale. Thus microorganisms' performance needs to be improved in order to be suitable for the industrial production of biofuels. Systems metabolic engineering, which allows metabolic engineering at a systems-level, is employed for designing and optimizing cellular metabolic and regulatory networks to induce the most efficient production
|Contact: Lan Yoon|
The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)