Biological production of a hydrocarbon fuel intermediate polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) from a process relevant lignocellulosic derived sugar stream
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Exhibit/Poster Hall, lower level (Hilton Clearwater Beach)
Wei Wang1, Shihui Yang1, Ashutosh Mittal2 and David K. Johnson2, (1)National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO, (2)Biosciences Center, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO
PHAs are synthesized by many microorganisms to serve as intracellular carbon storage molecules. In some bacterial strains, PHB can account for up to 80% of cell mass. In addition to its application in the packaging sector, PHB also has great potential as an intermediate in the production of hydrocarbon fuels. PHB can be thermally depolymerized and decarboxylated to propene which can be upgraded to hydrocarbon fuels via commercial oligomerization technologies. Cupriavidus necator is the microorganism that has been most extensively studied and used for PHB production on an industrial scale; However the substrates used for producing PHB are mainly fructose, glucose, sucrose, fatty acids, glycerol, etc., which are expensive. In this study, we demonstrate production of PHB from a process relevant lignocellulosic derived sugar stream, i.e., saccharified slurry from pretreated corn stover. The strain was first investigated in shake flasks for its ability to utilize glucose, xylose and acetate. In addition, the strain was also grown on pretreated lignocellulose hydrolyzate slurry and evaluated in terms of cell growth, sugar utilization, PHB accumulation, etc. The mechanism of inhibition in the toxic hydrolysate generated by the pretreatment and saccharification process of biomass, was also studied.