Location: Bioenergy Research
Project Number: 5010-41000-177-05-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement
Start Date: Dec 15, 2018
End Date: Nov 30, 2022
Develop an entirely new platform technology whereby high productivity plants will be developed that produce low-oxygen containing molecules that can be extracted and converted using microbial catalysts to drop in fuels and chemical building blocks.
ARS researchers will collaborate closely with the Cooperator’s conversion research group. The specific tasks that ARS will lead include: 1. Chemical compositional analysis of plant samples supplied by Cooperator’s plant researchers. Analysis will be focused on plant cell wall components and will utilized modified methods published by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. 2. Rating of extracted plant samples for biomass recalcitrance. This metric will be defined as the % of cell wall carbohydrates extracted following pretreatment and enzymatic digestion as monosaccharides. Samples will be analyzed using a "single bottle" assay that was developed inhouse. 3. Screening a special set of yeast owned by ARS that are of special interest to the microbial conversion group for growth on crude sugars extracted from plant samples. 4. Further optimization of growth for selected yeast strains on crude sugars by modifying growth nutrients and adding chemicals or processing steps to reduce the concentration of microbial inhibitors typically formed during pretreatment.