NOVEL TECHNOLOGIES FOR PRODUCING RENEWABLE CHEMICALS AND POLYMERS FROM CARBOHYDRATES DERIVED FROM AGRICULTURAL FEEDSTOCKS
Location: Renewable Product Technology Research Unit
Title: Utilization of agricultural biomass in the production of the biopolymer schizophyllan
Submitted to: Bioresource Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 27, 2012
Publication Date: October 25, 2012
Citation: Sutivisedsak, N., Leathers, T.D., Nunnally, M.S., Price, N.P., Biresaw, G. 2012. Utilization of agricultural biomass in the production of the biopolymer schizophyllan. Bioresource Technology. 40(1):105-112. DOI: 10.1007/s10295-012-1208-8.
Interpretive Summary: We demonstrate here for the first time the efficient utilization of agricultural biomass substrates, particularly distillers’ dried grains with solubles (DDGS), for production of the valuable biopolymer, schizophyllan. Utilization of biomass substrates could provide a value-added product from agricultural residues such as DDGS, in support of the integrated biorefinery concept. We discovered production conditions required for conversion of DDGS to schizophyllan and conducted chemical, structural, and physical characterizations of the biopolymer. This work provides a potential new value-added bioproduct for integrated biorefineries of the future.
Schizophyllan is a homoglucan produced by the fungus Schizophyllum commune, with a ß-1,3-linked backbone and ß-1,6-linked side chains of single glucose units at every other residue. Schizophyllan is commercially produced for pharmaceutical and cosmetics uses. However, the unique physical properties of schizophyllan suggest that it may have biomaterials applications. Schizophyllan is conventionally produced by submerged culture fermentation using glucose as a carbon source. We demonstrate here for the first time the efficient utilization of agricultural biomass substrates, particularly distillers’ dried grains with solubles, for schizophyllan production. Sugar composition analysis, NMR, and permethylation linkage analysis confirmed that the recovered product was schizophyllan. Schizophyllan produced from agricultural residues was of a high molecular weight and exhibited solution viscosity properties similar to those of commercially produced material. Utilization of biomass substrates could reduce the cost of schizophyllan production and provide a new value-added bioproduct for integrated biorefineries of the future.