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Yi-di Chen, Shih-Hsin Ho, Dillirani Nagarajan, Nan-Qi Ren, Jo-Shu Chang
Commercialization of microalgal cultivation has been well realized in recent decades with the use of effective strains that can yield the target products, but it is still challenged by the high costs arising from mass production, harvesting, and further processing. Recently, more interest has been directed towards the utilization of waste resources, such as sludge digestate, to enhance the economic feasibility and sustainability of microalgae production. Anaerobic digestion for waste disposal and phototrophic microalgal cultivation are well-characterized technologies in both fields...
December 8, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
Katharina Anna Lindlbauer, Hans Marx, Michael Sauer
Background: In their quest for sustainable development and effective management of greenhouse gas emissions, our societies pursue a shift away from fossil-based resources towards renewable resources. With 95% of our current transportation energy being petroleum based, the application of alternative, carbon-neutral products-among them biodiesel-is inevitable. In order to enhance the cost structure of biodiesel biorefineries, the valorization of the crude glycerol waste stream into high-value platform chemicals is of major importance...
2017: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Siqi Wang, Hengwei Wang, Jiyang Lv, Zixin Deng, Hairong Cheng
Erythritol, a natural sugar alcohol, is produced industrially by fermentation and crystallization, but this process leaves a large amount of waste erythritol mother liquor (WEML) which contains more than 200 g/L erythritol as well as other polyol by-products. These impurities make it very difficult to crystallize more of erythritol. In our study, an efficient process for the recovery of erythritol from the WEML is described. The polyol impurities were first identified by HPLC and GC-MS, and a yeast strain Candida maltose CGMCC 7323 was then isolated to metabolize those impurities so as to purify erythritol...
December 8, 2017: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Kiyota Sakai, Saki Kojiya, Junya Kamijo, Yuta Tanaka, Kenta Tanaka, Masahiro Maebayashi, Jun-Seok Oh, Masafumi Ito, Masaru Hori, Motoyuki Shimizu, Masashi Kato
Background: The efficiency of cellulolytic enzymes is important in industrial biorefinery processes, including biofuel production. Chemical methods, such as alkali pretreatment, have been extensively studied and demonstrated as effective for breaking recalcitrant lignocellulose structures. However, these methods have a detrimental effect on the environment. In addition, utilization of these chemicals requires alkali- or acid-resistant equipment and a neutralization step. Results: Here, a radical generator based on non-thermal atmospheric pressure plasma technology was developed and tested to determine whether oxygen-radical pretreatment enhances cellulolytic activity...
2017: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Peter J Smith, Hsin-Tzu Wang, William S York, Maria J Peña, Breeanna R Urbanowicz
Xylans are the most abundant noncellulosic polysaccharides in lignified secondary cell walls of woody dicots and in both primary and secondary cell walls of grasses. These polysaccharides, which comprise 20-35% of terrestrial biomass, present major challenges for the efficient microbial bioconversion of lignocellulosic feedstocks to fuels and other value-added products. Xylans play a significant role in the recalcitrance of biomass to degradation, and their bioconversion requires metabolic pathways that are distinct from those used to metabolize cellulose...
2017: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Yu-Si Yan, Shuai Zhao, Lu-Sheng Liao, Qi-Peng He, Ya-Ru Xiong, Long Wang, Cheng-Xi Li, Jia-Xun Feng
Background: The transition to a more environmentally friendly economy has prompted studies of modern biorefineries, including the utilization of low-value lignocellulose. The major challenge facing the widespread application of biorefineries is the high cost of enzymes that can efficiently hydrolyze recalcitrant cellulose to sugars. Penicillium oxalicum produces large amounts of plant-cell-wall-degrading enzymes, but their production is tightly controlled by complex regulatory networks, resulting in low yields of the native enzymes...
2017: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Julian Lange, Felix Müller, Kerstin Bernecker, Nicolaus Dahmen, Ralf Takors, Bastian Blombach
Background: A future bioeconomy relies on the efficient use of renewable resources for energy and material product supply. In this context, biorefineries have been developed and play a key role in converting lignocellulosic residues. Although a holistic use of the biomass feed is desired, side streams evoke in current biorefinery approaches. To ensure profitability, efficiency, and sustainability of the overall conversion process, a meaningful valorization of these materials is needed...
2017: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Minseok Kim, Lidan Wu, Bumjoo Kim, Deborah T Hung, Jongyoon Han
Electrical lysis of mammalian cells has been a preferred method in microfluidic platforms, because of its simple implementation and rapid recovery of lysates without additional reagents. However, bacterial lysis typically requires at least 10-times higher electric fields (~10 kV/cm), resulting in various technical difficulties. Here, we present a novel, low-field-enabled electromechanical lysis mechanism of bacterial cells using electroconvective vortices near ion selective materials. The vortex-assisted lysis only requires field strength of ~ 100 V/cm , yet efficiently recovering proteins and nucleic acids from a variety of pathogenic bacteria, and operates in a continuous, and ultra-high-throughput (> 1 mL/min) manner...
December 1, 2017: Analytical Chemistry
Joe C H Ho, Sandip V Pawar, Steven J Hallam, Vikramaditya G Yadav
The discovery and utilization of biocatalysts that selectively valorize lignocellulose is critical to the profitability of next-generation biorefineries. Here, we report the development of a refactored, whole-cell, GFP-based biosensor for high-throughput identification of biocatalysts that transform lignin into speciality chemicals from environmental DNA of uncultivable archaea and bacteria. The biosensor comprises the transcriptional regulator and promoter of the emrRAB operon of E. coli, and the configuration of the biosensor was tuned with the aid of mathematical model...
November 28, 2017: ACS Synthetic Biology
Michael Podevin, Ioannis A Fotidis, Irini Angelidaki
Microalgae are well known for their ability to accumulate lipids intracellularly, which can be used for biofuels and mitigate CO2 emissions. However, due to economic challenges, microalgae bioprocesses have maneuvered towards the simultaneous production of food, feed, fuel, and various high-value chemicals in a biorefinery concept. On-line and in-line monitoring of macromolecules such as lipids, proteins, carbohydrates, and high-value pigments will be more critical to maintain product quality and consistency for downstream processing in a biorefinery to maintain and valorize these markets...
November 27, 2017: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Mary H Abernathy, Jingjie Yu, Fangfang Ma, Michelle Liberton, Justin Ungerer, Whitney D Hollinshead, Saratram Gopalakrishnan, Lian He, Costas D Maranas, Himadri B Pakrasi, Doug K Allen, Yinjie J Tang
Background: Synechococcus elongatus UTEX 2973 is the fastest growing cyanobacterium characterized to date. Its genome was found to be 99.8% identical to S. elongatus 7942 yet it grows twice as fast. Current genome-to-phenome mapping is still poorly performed for non-model organisms. Even for species with identical genomes, cell phenotypes can be strikingly different. To understand Synechococcus 2973's fast-growth phenotype and its metabolic features advantageous to photo-biorefineries, 13C isotopically nonstationary metabolic flux analysis (INST-MFA), biomass compositional analysis, gene knockouts, and metabolite profiling were performed on both strains under various growth conditions...
2017: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Shigenobu Mitsuzawa, Maiko Fukuura, Satoru Shinkawa, Keiichi Kimura, Tadaomi Furuta
The glycoside hydrolase family 7 (GH7) member cellobiohydrolase (CBH) is a key enzyme that degrades crystalline cellulose, an important structural component of plant cell walls. As GH7 CBH is a major component in the enzyme mixture used to degrade biomass into fermentable glucose in biorefineries, enhancing its catalytic activity will significantly impact development in this field. GH7 CBH possesses a catalytic tunnel through which cellulose substrates are threaded and hydrolysed. Despite numerous studies dissecting this processive mechanism, the role of amino acid residues in the tunnel remains not fully understood...
November 24, 2017: Scientific Reports
Regina Palkovits, Irina Delidovich
Renewable carbon feedstocks such as biomass and CO2 present an important element of future circular economy. Especially biomass as highly functionalized feedstock provides manifold opportunities for the transformation into attractive platform chemicals. However, this change of the resources requires a paradigm shift in refinery design. Fossil feedstocks are processed in gas phase at elevated temperature. In contrast, biorefineries are based on processes in polar solvents at moderate conditions to selectively deoxygenate the polar, often thermally instable and high-boiling molecules...
January 13, 2018: Philosophical Transactions. Series A, Mathematical, Physical, and Engineering Sciences
Timo Schuerg, Jan-Philip Prahl, Raphael Gabriel, Simon Harth, Firehiwot Tachea, Chyi-Shin Chen, Matthew Miller, Fabrice Masson, Qian He, Sarah Brown, Mona Mirshiaghi, Ling Liang, Lauren M Tom, Deepti Tanjore, Ning Sun, Todd R Pray, Steven W Singer
Background: Lignocellulosic biomass is an important resource for renewable production of biofuels and bioproducts. Enzymes that deconstruct this biomass are critical for the viability of biomass-based biofuel production processes. Current commercial enzyme mixtures have limited thermotolerance. Thermophilic fungi may provide enzyme mixtures with greater thermal stability leading to more robust processes. Understanding the induction of biomass-deconstructing enzymes in thermophilic fungi will provide the foundation for strategies to construct hyper-production strains...
2017: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Karthik Rajendran, Ganti S Murthy
Background: The need for liquid fuels in the transportation sector is increasing, and it is essential to develop industrially sustainable processes that simultaneously address the tri-fold sustainability metrics of technological feasibility, economic viability, and environmental impacts. Biorefineries based on lignocellulosic feedstocks could yield high-value products such as ethyl acetate, dodecane, ethylene, and hexane. This work focuses on assessing biochemical and biomass to electricity platforms for conversion of Banagrass and Energycane into valuable fuels and chemicals using the tri-fold sustainability metrics...
2017: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Chayanon Sawatdeenarunat, Hyungseok Nam, Sushil Adhikari, Shihwu Sung, Samir Kumar Khanal
Anaerobic digestion (AD) of lignocellulosic biomass i.e. Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum), was investigated via a series of batch and bench-scale experiments. Two semi-continuous bench-scale horizontal bioreactors were operated in parallel for nearly 300 days, and the reactors were able to handle the organic loading rate (OLR) up to 6 kg volatile solids (VS)/m(3)-d, which was among the highest OLR reported in the literature for lignocellulosic biomass. Hemicellulose was the main structural carbohydrate of lignocellulosic biomass per unit respective mass (dry weight) basis contributing to methane production...
November 9, 2017: Bioresource Technology
Silvia Hüttner, Thanh Thuy Nguyen, Zoraide Granchi, Thomas Chin-A-Woeng, Dag Ahrén, Johan Larsbrink, Vu Nguyen Thanh, Lisbeth Olsson
Background: Genome and transcriptome sequencing has greatly facilitated the understanding of biomass-degrading mechanisms in a number of fungal species. The information obtained enables the investigation and discovery of genes encoding proteins involved in plant cell wall degradation, which are crucial for saccharification of lignocellulosic biomass in second-generation biorefinery applications. The thermophilic fungus Malbranchea cinnamomea is an efficient producer of many industrially relevant enzymes and a detailed analysis of its genomic content will considerably enhance our understanding of its lignocellulolytic system and promote the discovery of novel proteins...
2017: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Ling Tao, Anelia Milbrandt, Yanan Zhang, Wei-Cheng Wang
Background: Biomass-derived jet fuel is an alternative jet fuel (AJF) showing promise of reducing the dependence on fossil fuel and greenhouse gas emissions. Hydroprocessed esters and fatty acids (HEFA) concept is also known as one of the pathways for producing bio jet fuel. HEFA fuel was approved by the American Society for Testing and Materials in 2011, and can be blended up to 50% with conventional jet fuel. Since then, several HEFA economic and life-cycle assessments have been published in literature...
2017: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Da Woon Jeong, Jeong Eun Hyeon, Young-Chul Joo, Sang Kyu Shin, Sung Ok Han
Expansin act by loosening hydrogen bonds in densely packed polysaccharides. This work characterizes the biological functions of expansin in the gelling and degradation of algal polysaccharides. In this study, the bacterial expansin BpEX from Bacillus pumilus was fused with the dockerin module of a cellulosome system for assembly with agarolytic complexes. The assembly of chimeric expansin caused an indicative enhancement in agarase activity. The enzymatic activities on agar substrate and natural biomass were 3...
November 18, 2017: Marine Biotechnology
Abdullah A Loman, S M M Islam, Lu-Kwang Ju
Arabitol is a low-calorie sugar alcohol with anti-cariogenic properties. Enzymatic hydrolysate of soybean flour is a new renewable biorefinery feedstock containing hexose, pentose, and organic nitrogen sources. Arabitol production by Debaryomyces hansenii using soybean flour hydrolysate was investigated. Effects of medium composition, operating conditions, and culture stage (growing or stationary phase) were studied. Production was also compared at different culture volumes to understand the effect of dissolved oxygen concentration (DO)...
November 17, 2017: Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
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