Biotech breakthrough turns waste biomass into high value chemicals 2

Biotech breakthrough turns waste biomass into high value chemicals

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“This new system represents a consolidated biodegradation-biotransformation strategy for the production of high value fine chemicals from waste plant biomass, offering the potential to minimise environmental waste and add value to agro-industrial residues.”

The international team of scientists have demonstrated the production of the versatile chemical building block, coniferol, for the first time, directly from dry plant matter biomass. Following the biocatalytic treatment of the waste plant matter to release and convert ferulic acid into coniferol with high efficiency. The entire process can be comparatively cost effective by taking place in a single vessel.

The move towards a circular bio-economy is being driven by policy and regulation, which in turn is influenced by concerns over finite petrochemical feed stocks and environmental implications. Major scientific and bioprocessing challenges must still be met if alternative bio-based strategies are to become competitive with existing processes.

This study reports a consolidated biodegradation-biotransformation strategy for the efficient production of high-value chemical building blocks directly from low value waste biomass, offering the potential to minimize environmental waste and add value to agro-industrial residues.

The work is part of UK-Brazil a 5-year programme grant between funded by the BBSRC and FAPESP in Brazil. UK has investment of over £2m in this project was awarded to The University of Manchester, The University of Warwick and UCL.

The paper, Consolidated production of coniferol and other high-value aromatic alcohols directly from lignocellulosic biomass, by N Dixon et al is published in Green Chemistry,

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