Bioprocessing of Biomass Derived Lignin to Fatty Acids
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Exhibit/Poster Hall, lower level (Hilton Clearwater Beach)
Jungang Wang1, Daochen Zhu2, Bin Yang1 and Jianzhong Sun2, (1)Biological Systems Engineering, Washington State University, Richland, WA, (2)Biofuels Institute, School of Environment, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, China
A DOE recently funded research team has developed microbial technology that is capable of converting lignin to lipids for biofuel production. In this study, a series of alkaliphilic and halotolerant bacteria (e.g. Bacillus ligniphilus, Rhodococcus jostii RHA1, and Rhodococcos opacus) with strong lignin degradation and/or fatty acid biosynthesis capacities were selected to establish the functional modules to enable a platform for efficient conversion of lignin to fatty acids. The key challenge is to apply lignin degradation microorganisms that depolymerize lignin to reactive intermediates (e.g. 4-hydroxybenzoic acid, vanillic acid) for oleaginous bacteria to produce lipids. A set of optimized parameters for each particular strain for lignin degradation and/or lipid yield using different technical lignins as the sole carbon source was investigated. We believe that the integration of a lignin deploymerzation strain with a fatty acid-producing microorganism will enable utilizing biomass derived lignin to generate fatty acid-- a major step towards biodiesel fuels.