SBIR Phase I:Overcoming the Recalcitrance of Cellulose

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1013497
Agency Tracking Number: 1013497
Amount: $178,630.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: BC
Solicitation Number: NSF 09-609
Small Business Information
3591 Anderson Street, Suite 214, Madison, WI, 53704
DUNS: 808166826
HUBZone Owned: Y
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Rajai Atalla
 (608) 310-9566
Business Contact
 Rajai Atalla
Title: PhD
Phone: (608) 310-9566
Research Institution
This SBIR Phase I project will test and develop the concept of enhancing the conversion of cellulose to glucose by providing the accessibility of the enzymes to the cellulose fibers at the nanoscale level. The project addresses a serious deficiency that currently exists in bio-fuels production from cellulose-based biomass. The goal is to increase the disaggregation of cellulose and starch so that it can be subsequently degraded using enzymes to a greater degree than presently possible. This "pre-treatment" process will allow enhanced conversion of starch and cellulose to simple sugars and allow for higher rates of anaerobic methane production. The broader/commercial impact of the project will include creation of a pre-treatment approach leading to the ability to overcome a current limitation in the biodegradation and conversion of cellulose and starch (biomass) to bio-fuels. This could make bio-fuels more available in the longer term using a wider variety of residual biomass as feed stocks. It is likely that glucose from cellulose would become economically competitive with corn starch based glucose for production of bio-fuels, both ethanol and higher alcohols. This technology could produce cellulosic bio-fuels with an incubation time comparable to current starch-based production methods.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

Agency Micro-sites

SBA logo
Department of Agriculture logo
Department of Commerce logo
Department of Defense logo
Department of Education logo
Department of Energy logo
Department of Health and Human Services logo
Department of Homeland Security logo
Department of Transportation logo
Environmental Protection Agency logo
National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo
National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government