STTR Phase I: Development of Sugar Beet Pulp Enzymatic Pretreatment System

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0638102
Agency Tracking Number: 0638102
Amount: $148,440.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2007
Solicitation Year: 2006
Solicitation Topic Code: MI
Solicitation Number: NSF 06-553
Small Business Information
507 N. Bentz St., 6745 HOLLISTER AVENUE, Frederick, MD, 21701
DUNS: 166687371
HUBZone Owned: Y
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 Robert Kozak
 (301) 644-1396
Business Contact
 Robert Kozak
Title: PhD
Phone: (301) 644-1396
Research Institution
 Hood College
 Craig K Laufer
 Rosemont Ave
Frederick, MD, 21701 8575
 (301) 696-3656
 Nonprofit college or university
This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I project develops a pretreatment process for biomass that will be used as feedstock for making biofuels, thereby solving a significant problem in this process. Before plant and tree material (biomass) can be used to produce biofuels, or biochemical building blocks for plastics, it must be pretreated to release the targeted components. This pretreatment step is a significant barrier to the development of cost-effective biorefineries that would convert biomass, including agricultural residues not currently being utilized, into biofuels and value-added biochemicals. Instead of the conventional approach, where complex biomass is broken down into small components for later processing into alcohol or reassembly into complex chemicals, this new approach directly converts the various components of the biomass into biofuels and biochemcials. This results in a much less costly process. The first step is to remove components from the backbone of the biomass and process them into biofuels and biochemicals with enzymes specifically developed to perform these tasks. This step not only produces products, but also makes it easier for another set of enzymes to extract larger components of the biomass backbone for processing into biochemicals. This process continues until the backbone is completely disassembled and all the available components were processed. At the end, the remaining sugars are fermented to ethanol.The broader impact of this project is to significantly enable the US to meet the goal of reducing petroleum imports by 60 percent before 2025 by developing technology that makes the agricultural biorefinery economically sustainable.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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