Efficient isomer-selective biosynthesis of pinene from cellulosic feedstocks
Agency / Branch:
DOD / NAVY
There is a need to find more efficient methods for producing high-density, liquid, tactical fuels for use in missile propulsion or as components to improve key performance characteristics of currently available jet and diesel fuels. Generation of such fuels from renewable sources such as waste cellulose, grasses, waste agricultural material and forestry products will provide important national security benefits as compared with the use of raw petroleum products a large fraction of which are imported. In addition renewable feedstocks yield important environmental and potential cost benefits. PSI, in collaboration with Dr. Michael Henson's laboratory at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, proposes to develop an efficient process for bioconversion of cellulosic biomass to high purity alpha- or beta-pinene precursors for high-density, liquid tactical fuel. Our approach will yield high-purity alpha- or beta-pinene isomers in a scalable process. Phase I research will demonstrate proof-of-concept for development of bioengineered strains and fermentation processes for efficient production of beta-pinene from cellulosic materials without pretreatment. Phase II research will continue with additional genetic modification of the beta-pinene producing microbe with a goal of increasing efficiency of beta-pinene production and eliminating undesired products and will include scale-up for pilot production.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Research Institution Information:
Physical Sciences Inc.
20 New England Business Center Andover, MA -
Number of Employees:
University of Massachusetts
70 Butterfield Terrace
Amherst, MA 01003-9242
Carol P. Sprague