APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:
- Lignocellulosic biofuel production
- Paper manufacturing and recycling
- Improvements in efficiency of existing enzymes while decreasing complexity of enzyme “cocktails”
- Reduced enzyme loading for lower operating cost
- Reduces number of enzymes to liberate C5/C6 sugars from biomass
Researchers at the DOE Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have developed multi-functional enzymes, specifically glycoside hydrolases with cellulase, mannanase and xylanase activities, to reduce enzyme loading and, ultimately, the cost of breaking down lignocellulosic biomass. The JBEI multi-functional enzymes are a significant improvement over the expensive enzyme cocktails currently used to hydrolyze lignocellulosic biomass for biofuel production or paper manufacturing and recycling.
The technology could be used in either a single step pretreatment / saccharification reaction or in separate steps to hydrolyze cellulose and hemicellulose polymers to monomeric sugars. The JBEI invention also has the potential to introduce cellulase, mannanase and xylanase activities into existing enzymes to improve their performance.
The Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI, www.jbei.org) is a scientific partnership led by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and including the Sandia National Laboratories, the University of California campuses of Berkeley and Davis, the Carnegie Institution for Science and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. JBEI’s primary scientific mission is to advance the development of the next generation of biofuels.
DEVELOPMENT STAGE: Proven principle. The ability to improve both activities of a thermophilic bifunctional cellulase / mannanase has been demonstrated. Currently being incorporated into an enzyme mixture to efficiently liberate fermentable sugars from biomass after pretreatment.
STATUS: Patent pending. Available for licensing or collaborative research.
SEE THESE OTHER BERKELEY LAB TECHNOLOGIES IN THIS FIELD:
Recovery of Sugars by Solvent Extraction, EJIB-2750
REFERENCE NUMBER: EJIB-3057