Xylose Utilization During Simultaneous Saccharification and Fermentation Enabled by a Parallel Microreactor with Immobilized Enzyme

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-08ER85080
Agency Tracking Number: N/A
Amount: $99,840.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: 10 b
Solicitation Number: DE-PS02-07ER07-36
Small Business Information
33898 SE Eastgate Circle, Corvallis, OR, 97333
DUNS: 794036579
HUBZone Owned: Y
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Christopher Beatty
 (541) 990-0337
Business Contact
 Christopher Beatty
Title: Mr.
Phone: (541) 990-0337
Email: chris@trilliumfiberfuels.com
Research Institution
One prominent challenge for the biochemical production of cellulosic ethanol is the utilization of xylose, which can increase ethanol yield 20-40% for typical feedstocks. Efforts toward genetic engineering of conventional yeast to utilize xylose have suffered from metabolic redox imbalance. This project will develop a technology for utilizing an industrial enzyme, glucose isomerase (GI), for the conversion of xylose to xylulose, which then can be metabolized to ethanol by conventional yeasts. The approach involves immobilizing GI in a microchannel reactor that recirculates the fermentation broth: the xylose is converted to xylulose and consumed during the fermentation step while enabling extended use of the expensive enzyme. In Phase I, a series of experiments will be conducted to extract the necessary kinetic parameters from a simple single-tube microreactor. These parameters will be used to model and fabricate a multichannel microreactor scaled for a 5 liter system. In Phase II, the design will be scaled up to a 100 liter system, and full automation of recirculation, pH control, and thermal management will be implemented. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: Commercialization of this system should enable the widespread utilization of biomass resources for ethanol production in a sustainable manner, by obtaining greater yields from feedstock materials.

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

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