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STTR Phase I: Enzyme design for economical feed additives from sugar
Phone: (612) 314-3876
Phone: (612) 314-3876
Contact: Christopher D Snow
Type: Nonprofit College or University
The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) project is to develop low-cost, high-performing feed additives for the swine feed market. Some of the current additives that supplement feed have detrimental side effects and/or made from raw materials that are considered toxic. Additives made from these toxic raw materials need to undergo substantial purification to meet the safety thresholds. This project will develop new enzymes and processes that enable the synthesis of chemically and structurally identical additives from renewable feedstocks. The combination of enzyme design and process optimization will result in an environmentally-friendly process to produce additives that require minimal purification and result in low production costs. The goal is to develop novel enzymes that are suited to produce feed additives that have a proven record of safety and efficacy. This STTR Phase I project is a proposal to address the availability of renewably-sourced feed additives by developing a new enzyme and a process. Currently, many feed additives are produced using organic chemical synthesis that require energy intensive unit operations. The required extensive clean-up of these products, combined with the high containment cost, translates into high operating expenses. This project will focus on developing new catalytic capabilities for enzymes by improving their selectivity and specificity. Using the newly engineered enzymes in a process that involves efficient unit operations, it will be possible for the first time to produce low-cost feed additives that have a proven history of performance and safe use. By employing powerful enzyme design tools to create enzyme libraries through gene synthesis, this project will screen for promising enzyme candidates that have desired capabilities. The deliverable of the Phase I project will be a conclusive demonstration of the technical, economic and market feasibility of the concept. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *