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Forest Products Laboratory
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Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: (608) 231-9200
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Institute for Microbial and Biochemical Techology

Project Title :  Enzymatic and microbial processing of wood and wood fiber to fuels, nanocellulose and other chemicals
Project Number : FPL-4712-3B
Status : NEW
Start Date : 10-01-2012
End Date : 09-30-2019


View the 17 publications associated with this project.

Philip J. KerstenPrincipal Investigator:
Philip J. Kersten

Non Technical Summary
This research develops basic information and operating conditions needed for efficient and effective enzymatic and microbial processing of wood and wood fiber.


Objectives Summary
The objectives of the research, involving enzyme processing of lignocellulosics are to identify, characterize, classify, and develop enzymes for application. Potential targets include: 1) novel lignocellulose degrading enzymes that may contribute to enhancing bioconversion efficiency through technological advances of enzymatic pretreatments or application during simultaneous saccharification and fermentation bioconversion processes for production of advanced biofuels; 2) enzymes for lignocellulose pulp processing for production of value-added forest products such as nanocellulose; and 3) novel enzyme systems for conversion of biomass derived sugars to chemical synthons and novel biofuels.


Approach Summary
This research will consist of basic and applied studies on the discovery and use of microorganisms, enzymes or biomimics to treat virgin fibers, recycled fibers, and wood sugars. Research in this problem area will pursue enzymes or enzyme based processes for treatment of native woody material, pretreated woody material, fiber and wood-derived sugars. Goals include new/improved methods to make value-added products from lignocellulose (e.g. nanocellulose) and to transform biomass derived sugars to valuable chemical synthons and fuels. Enzymes will be purified and characterized, and cloned where it is deemed appropriate to better understand fundamental enzymatic mechanisms or to produce the enzyme in sufficient quantity for process application. Kinetic constants of the enzymes will be measured, and their modes of action will be assessed. The substrate range of some enzymes will be explored so that better predictions can be made of their effects on wood, wood fibers and wood sugars. The modification of wood fiber surfaces provides great potential in developing new products e.g. nanofibrillated cellulose. Sugars released from wood are a potential source of biofuels and platform chemicals.General methods and expected outcomes include: 1. Identify novel enzymes, reactants and proteins that help separate and/or modify wood components, and test for benefits in processing wood and wood fiber. 2. Design and develop chemo-enzymatic pathways for conversion of wood sugars to potential biofuels and platform chemicals.3. Clone and express enzymes of potential interest to study structure and catalytic properties.4. Design novel enzymes and enzyme systems or enzyme chimerics for improved process development. This includes increased enzyme yield, simplified enzyme purification, and compatiblity incorporation in overall process design, e.g. enzyme recovery. 5. Communicate the findings in high-quality scientific papers in refereed journals, in lectures before a variety of audiences, and, where appropriate, in patents that will enhance technology transfer.

Publications associated with this Project

Publication YearTitleDate Posted
20133D spectral imaging with synchrotron Fourier transform infrared spectro-microtomography10/20/14
2014A novel member of glycoside hydrolase family 30 subfamily 8 with altered substrate specificity07/16/15
2018A plasmid borne, functionally novel glycoside hydrolase family 30 subfamily 8 endoxylanase from solventogenic Clostridium12/20/18
2013Chapter 13: Recent Advances on the Genomics of Litter- and Soil-Inhabiting Agaricomycetes09/30/13
2015Contrasting Patterns of Diterpene Acid Induction by Red Pine and White Spruce to Simulated Bark Beetle Attack, and Interspecific Differences in Sensitivity Among Fungal Associates07/07/15
2014Copper radical oxidases and related extracellular oxidoreductases of wood-decay Agaricomycetes09/17/14
2018Draft genome sequence of Burkholderia cepacia ATCC 17759, a polyhydroxybutyrate-co-valerate copolymer-producing bacterium10/01/18
2016Endoglucanase post-milling treatment for producing cellulose nanofibers from bleached eucalyptus fibers by a supermasscolloider07/15/16
2017GH115 α-glucuronidase and GH11 xylanase from Paenibacillus sp. JDR-2: potential roles in processing glucuronoxylans08/31/18
2017GH30 glucuronoxylan-specific xylanase from Streptomyces turgidiscabies C5612/20/18
2013Integration of Chemical and Biological Catalysis: Production of Furylglycolic Acid from Glucose via Cortalcerone02/24/14
2012Novel structural features of xylanase A1 from Paenibacillus sp. JDR-208/02/13
2015Physical and Mechanical Properties of Cellulose Nanofibril Films from Bleached Eucalyptus Pulp by Endoglucanase Treatment and Microfluidization09/25/15
2015Production of cellulose nanofibrils from bleached eucalyptus fibers by hyperthermostable endoglucanase treatment and subsequent microfluidization02/11/15
2017Xylanase 30 A from Clostridium thermocellum functions as a glucuronoxylan xylanohydrolase10/06/17
2019Xylanase pretreatment of wood fibers for producing cellulose nanofibrils: a comparison of different enzyme preparations09/05/19
2013Xylanase supplementation on enzymatic saccharification of dilute acid pretreated poplars at different severities10/22/13

Project Summaries last modified: 08-22-2018