Renewable energy and chemicals from biomass. This is an interdisciplinary programme designed to exploit plant based biomass for the production of energy and bulk and speciality chemicals. Fermentation of sugars derived from lignocellulosic agricultural wastes, energy crops and municipal waste into bioethanol is the focus of the LACE programme, Other programmes involve the manipulation of yeast metabolism to generate bulk or speciality chemicals (such as succinate) for use in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. This research involves collaboration with colleagues in Biology, Chemical Engineering, Molecular Life Sciences and Social Sciences.
To replace fossil sources of energy and chemicals with sustainable biomass alternatives. Plant science is being exploited to improve quality characteristics of the biomass. These include yield, resource use efficiency and suitability for processing. Improved methods to convert the biomass to fermentable sugars are being explored. This involves applying material science approaches to understand the impact of physiochemical treatments and fungal genetics to identify novel hydrolytic enzymes. Expertise in yeast genetics and fermentation is being exploited to produce strains of yeast adapted to function optimally under industrial scale processes and to utilise novel feed stocks and produce novel chemicals.
Lignocellulose to ethanol (LACE) (Tucker)
Optimising processes for the deconstruction of biomass.(Tucker)
A lignocellulosic-based biorefining strategy for the production of succinic acid by recombinant yeasts (Du)
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