Gratuitous Inducer for Industrial Enzyme Production

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Agriculture
Branch:
N/A
Amount:
$98,739.00
Award Year:
2012
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
2012-00436
Agency Tracking Number:
2012-00436
Solicitation Year:
2012
Solicitation Topic Code:
8.8
Solicitation Number:
USDA-NIFA-SBIR-003497
Small Business Information
PANORAMA RESEARCH
1230 Bordeaux Dr, Sunnyvale, CA, 94089-1202
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
556962439
Principal Investigator
 Tom Huang
 Senior Research Scientist
 (650) 391-7805
 huan45@gmail.com
Business Contact
 Eric Hoang
Title: Finance&Operations Manager
Phone: (408) 747-5201
Email: ops@pano.com
Research Institution
 Stub
Abstract
Cellulose is the most abundant biopolymer on earth. Photosynthesis produces biomass containing over a trillion tons of cellulose annually. This almost inexhaustible source of building blocks for biofuels, bioplastics, and other biochemicals, is key to a renewable, non-petroleum-based chemicals industry. Enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose to glucose by the enzyme cellulase is the first step in converting abundant biomass into products useful to society. For any product, including bioplastics, where cellulose is the starting material, the cost of enzyme is a limiting factor. Improved methods of cellulase production are required before a renewable, non-petroleum fuels and chemicals industry can begin to yield environmental and economic benefits for society. We have identified one key technology to render cellulase affordable. During Phase I, we will characterize this inducer and commercialize it for cellulase production. The availability of this inducer will reduce the cost of cellulase and will accelerate the development of the cellulosic biofuels industry, as well as the development of biochemicals and bioplastics from cellulosic biomass. By displacing fossil fuels as a source of carbon for industrial and energy applications, this technology will reduce carbon emissions. On a life-cycle basis, ethanol from agricultural wastes or cellulosic crops has significantly lower carbon dioxide emissions than ethanol produced from grain. Thus, significant societal benefits accrue by reducing the risk of catastrophic climate change caused by increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide. Similarly, the technology we have discovered will make the production of biofuels such as bio-gasoline more commercially viable, by reducing the cost of a key upstream enzyme, cellulase. Thus, our technology has the potential to reduce reliance on petroleum-based fuels and foreign sources of oil. In addition, the availability of cost-effective cellulase will speed the development of manufacturing industries based on agricultural products and wastes such as corn stover and bagasse. Therefore, our cellulase induction technology is key to expanding the production of renewable energy from cellulose. Successful commercialization of our cellulase technology will make cellulosic bioproducts more profitable for manufacturers, driving innovation and expansion in the agricultural biotechnology industry.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

Agency Micro-sites

US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government