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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Bioenergy Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #406256

Research Project: Technologies to Improve Conversion of Biomass-Derived Sugars to Bioproducts

Location: Bioenergy Research

Title: Cleaner sugars from biomass

item Nichols, Nancy
item Dien, Bruce

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/9/2023
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Biological abatement uses a novel microbe to “scrub out” inhibitory compounds, thus improving the fermentability of sugars obtained from biomass (agricultural residues, energy crops, etc.). Cellulose-rich materials contain sugars that can be converted to ethanol or other valuable products, but the fibrous nature of biomass necessitates using some combination of chemicals, enzymes, heat, and pressure to obtain usable sugars. This can cause problems for fermenting microbes because the pretreatments used to release the sugars also give rise to a mixture of inhibitory chemicals. Pre-treated biomass does not yield a clean sugar stream. Bioabatement addresses one of the obstacles in the biomass to ethanol process, by offering a method for detoxifying biomass-derived sugar streams. This method for inhibitor mitigation uses a microorganism, isolated from soil, to detoxify the sugar stream. Multiple inhibitory compounds are targeted, and the most problematic ones are totally eliminated. Bioabatement uses a microbe to metabolize inhibitory compounds, yielding a cleaner sugar stream. Current methods for inhibitor abatement are costly, rely on physical/chemical treatments, generate waste, and/or result in water waste. This process is inexpensive and easy to use, generates no waste, and conserves water. Companies engaged in manufacturing fuels or chemicals from biomass could explore use of this biotechnology for mitigation of fermentation inhibitors.