Application of novel enzymes derived from thermoacidophiles to second-generation biofuel production

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Resource or Project Abstract

Cellulosic bioethanol is produced from lignocellulosic feedstocks, for eg. straw, and does not compete with food production. Cellulosic bioethanol can achieve significant greenhouse gas reductions in the transport sector, contribute to energy security and economic growth and assist nations in the practical implementation of relevant national/international global policy documents/agreements. The production of cellulosic bioethanol is however technically challenging and improvements in the production process are desirable to achieve widespread deployment and use of cellulosic bioethanol. The pretreatment step, necessary to disrupt the structure of lignocellulose, is often carried out using acid at high temperature and is considered to be one of the key areas for improvement. The focus of this project was to develop an alternative greener pretreatment method, based on the use of thermoacidophilic enzymes, which aims to improve the efficiency of the pretreatment step and overcome many of the technical, economical, environmental and health and safety related disadvantages associated with current practice.

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Contact Information for This Resource

Dr. Angela Boyce
University of Limerick

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Access Information For This Resource

SAFER-Data Display URL
Resource Keywordscellulosic bioethanol, second-generation biofuel, enzymes, pretreatment
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project Code2009-ET-MS-9-S2
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project ThemeEnvironmental Technologies
Resource Availability: Any User Can Download Files From This Resource
Limitations on the use of this ResourceThe reliability, quality and completeness of data gained through SAFER-Data is intended to be used in an education or research context. These data are not guaranteed for use in operational or decision-making settings. The EPA and SAFER-Data requests an acknowledgement (in publications, conference papers, etc) from those who use data/information received with SAFER-Data. This acknowledgement should state the original creators of the data/information. An automated citation is provided below. It is not ethical to publish data/information without proper attribution or co-authorship. The data/information are the intellectual property of the collecting investigator(s). The data/information may be freely downloaded and used by all who respect the restrictions and requirements in the previous paragraphs.
Number of Attached Files (Publicly and Openly Available for Download): 0
Project Start Date Thursday 1st October 2009 (01-10-2009)
Earliest Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Thursday 1st October 2009 (01-10-2009)
Most Recent Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Tuesday 1st October 2013 (01-10-2013)
Published on SAFERWednesday 23rd October 2013 (23-10-2013)
Date of Last EditWednesday 23rd October 2013 at 11:14:07 (23-10-2013)
Datasets or Files Updated On Wednesday 23rd October 2013 at 11:13:34 (23-10-2013)

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Geographical and Spatial Information Related To This Resource

Description of Geographical Characteristics of This Project or Dataset
The project was undertaken in a biochemistry research laboratory. The main techniques undertaken included: cultivation of microrganisms, screening for production of enzymes of interest, enzyme assays, native and recombinant enzyme production, enzyme purification, enzyme characterisation studies, application-relevant enzyme studies.

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Supplementary Information About This Resource

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Lineage information about this project or dataset
Research which contributes to overcoming the technical, economical and environmental issues associated with the production of cellulosic bioethanol is necessary to facilitate wide-scale deployment of cellulosic bioethanol. Such wide-scale deployment is in line with global and European renewable energy strategy and policies and is beneficial in terms of GHG emissions, energy security and economic growth.
Supplementary Information
All data generated during the project has been included and described in the 2 final reports submitted to EPA.

== Significant advances were made towards developing an environmentally-friendly enzymatic pretreatment method, particularly with regard to identifying suitable enzymes. While further optimisation of this method is necessary, the initial results observed are promising with the developed pretreatment method potentially offering several environmental, technical and health and safety-related benefits.
== The project resulted in the identification of several additional enzymes of potential application in the cellulosic bioethanol production process, the use of which may potentially contribute to overall process improvement.
== The project has expanded expertise in this area within the research group and has built capacity for further applied research aimed at improving the cellulosic bioethanol production process using enzymes produced by thermoacidophiles.
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