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Choren Industrietechnik is an engineering service-provider and licensor, offering the planning, layout and installation of systems for synthesis gas generation according to the CCG process.
ProteoGenesis, LLC is a Johnson City, TN based company that has received a grant(s) from the Department of Energy's SBIR/STTR program. The abstract(s) for these grant award(s) are provided as well since they provide insights into ProteoGenesis, LLC's business and areas of expertise. The United States is in need of a renewable and clean energy supply. This project will develop novel enzymes that could make the process of converting switchgrass into ethanol a commercially viable source of renewable energy and create a new energy sector and agricultural job base in America.
Fulcrum BioEnergy provides ethanol production in the United States. The company focuses on developing, owning, and operating efficient, environmentally responsible facilities that convert municipal solid waste and other waste products to a much needed low-cost, reliable, and environmentally clean renewable transportation fuel.
Chena Hot Spring's vision is to become a self-sufficient community in terms of energy, food, heating and fuel use to the greatest extent possible. To attain this goal, Chena is developing numerous renewable energy and sustainable development projects whi
Bioprocessing Innovative Company is a company that received a STTR Phase I grant for a project entitled: Engineering Clostritrial Fermentation for Biobutanol Production. Their project will develop novel engineered Clostridia strains for fermentation to economically produce butanol as a biofuel from sugars derived from starchy and lignocellulosic biomass. Butanol is an important industrial solvent and potentially a better transportation fuel than ethanol. Recent rising oil prices and limited petroleum resources have generated high interest in the production of biobutanol by anaerobic Clostridial fermentation. However, the conventional acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation has low butanol yield (<20%), butanol concentration (<16 g/L) and reactor productivity (<0.5 g/L*h) due to a strong butanol inhibition, and the fermentation process is difficult to improve due to the complicated metabolic pathways and gene regulation involved in the production microorganisms, mainly Clostridium acetobutylicum. To develop a novel high-butanol producer, Clostridia mutant strains with inactivated ack (acetate kinase) and pta (phosphotransacetylase) will be cloned with an alcohol dehydrogenase gene in Phase I and the mutants will be further adapted in a fibrous bed bioreactor to attain a high butanol tolerance. Functional genomic studies of the mutants and further metabolic engineering and process development will be carried out in Phase II to evaluate the feasibility and advantages of producing butanol from glucose and xylose. The new fermentation process can double the butanol yield and concentration, thus reducing the product cost to an economically competitive level for fuel application. Broader Impact: Currently, butanol is almost exclusively produced via petrochemical routes. Its uses include industrial applications in solvent, rubber monomers and brake fluids. Butanol has also been shown to be a good alternative transportation fuel. Biobutanol will have a great potential to compete with ethanol as a transportation fuel when its production cost is reduced by using advanced fermentation technologies such as metabolically engineered butanol-tolerant mutants. By increasing the butanol yield from glucose and xylose from the current low of <20 % (w/w) to ~40%, the economics of biobutanol can be greatly improved. With the engineered mutants, the productivity and butanol product concentration can also be improved by at least 100%. Overall, the biobutanol product cost can be reduced to less than $2 per gallon. This technology thus can provide an economical and better biofuel than ethanol. This project will focus on generation of value-added products from industrial waste streams and low-cost biomass feedstocks to enhance the economic viability of the biorefinery industry. Successfully developing the proposed butanol fermentation technology will satisfy the public interest, especially in providing a safe, renewable energy, protecting natural resources and the environment, and enhancing economic opportunity and quality of life. There will be job creation throughout the commercial development and manufacturing phases. At least one postdoctoral scholar and one Ph.D. student will be trained in this project. Bioprocessing Innovative Company is a company that received a STTR Phase I grant for a project entitled: A Gas-Solid Spouted Bed Bioreactor for Solid State Fermentation to Produce Enzymes and Biochemicals from Plant Biomass. Their research project will develop a gas-solid spouted bed bioreactor (SBB) for solid state fermentations (SSF) to produce hydrolytic enzymes (e.g., amylases, phytase, chitinase) and biochemicals (e.g., lactic acid) from solid starch materials. SSF offers higher production rates and easier product recovery compared to submerged fermentation (SmF), along with the ability to use many agricultural commodities and byproducts, such as rice, corn and wheat bran, as substrates. By virtue of its use of plant biomass as a substrate, SSF can become a sustainable system of chemical production from natural resources, thereby providing economic benefit to US agriculture and increasing national competitiveness. The proposed gas-solid spouted bed bioreactor can overcome problems suffered by conventional SSF systems. Using SBB for enzyme production potentially can reduce enzyme costs by more than 75% and thus increase their applications. Commercially, this new solid state fermentation (SFF) process can be used for economical production of industrially important enzymes from solid plant biomass. Hydrolyases such as amylases, cellulases, phytase, and chitinase have wide applications in industry. These enzymes can be more economically produced from plant biomss in SSF using the spouted bed bioreactor. Amylases and many other hydrolase enzymes are used in bioprocessing, including corn wet-milling, which currently generates more than $24.4 billion market value. Reducing the costs of these hydrolyase enzymes is critical to the emerging biorefinery and bio-based industrial products. The gas-solid spouted bed bioreactor (SBB) also can be used in simultaneous saccharification and fermentation processes for biochemicals production from plant biomass containing starch or cellulose. Successfully developing the proposed SBB and SSF technologies will provide sustainable chemical production, protect natural resources and the environment, and enhance economic opportunity and quality of life. The project also will train high quality personnel in the much needed bioprocessing technology areas, and provide an infrastructure for timely commercialization of university research results. There will be job creation throughout the commercial development and manufacturing phases. Bioprocessing Innovative Company is a company that received a SBIR Phase I grant for a project entitled: Production and Separation of Galacto-Oligosaccharides from Lactose for Prebiotic Food Applications. Their project will develop a novel immobilized enzyme process to produce galactooligosaccharides (GOS) from whey lactose for probiotic food applications. The proposed GOS production process involves two immobilized enzyme reactors and product separation by nanofiltration and adsorption chromatography. Two different alpha-galactosidase enzymes with different GOS formation characteristics will be used to optimize GOS production and yield from lactose. The product stream from the second reactor will be sent to a nanofiltration (NF) separation unit, where GOS, lactose, galactose, and glucose could be separated to yield a product with a higher GOS composition. The process for adsorption with activated carbon and ion exchange liquid chromatography will be developed to further purify GOS. The commercial application of this project will be in the emerging probiotic and neutraceutical food market for use by both animals and humans. This market is estimated to be in excess of 2 billion dollars per year. The present use of GOS in foods is limited by the high production costs. These costs are attributed mainly to the high enzyme cost and low oligosaccharide yields (less than 30% w/w). The proposed technology is expected to reduce production costs by at least 50% due by improving reactor productivity and enzyme life. Further, the ability to use cheap whey precursor products (current price range : $ 0.12 - $ 0.40 per lb) to value added GOS product (curent price : $ 4 - $ 5 per lb) will be of great benefit to the diary industry.
Copernican Energy is a company that received a STTR Phase I grant for a project entitled: High Temperature Solar Thermal Biomass Gasification and Co-reduction of Iron Oxide to Produce Hydrogen. Their project applies renewable solar thermal energy as a novel way to provide the necessary energy for biomass gasification and will develop the science required to engineer an efficient solar biomass-to-hydrogen conversion facility. Central to this innovation is the use of a reduced oxide intermediate to chemically store solar energy in a solid, allowing continuous hydrogen generation when the sun is not shining. The operating conditions necessary to achieve economically viable conversion of biomass resources to hydrogen will be determined through in-depth study "on-sun" and in the laboratory of heat transfer, reaction rates, and rate controls. The proposed project provides a bridge between solar energy and biomass to surmount many of the challenges associated with conventional biomass processing technologies. The high temperatures available from solar thermal systems allow for high conversion and selectivity, maximizing utility of the valuable biomass resource and extending its ability to replace conventional fossil fuels. Use of a reduced metal oxide stretches the applicability of solar energy beyond the daylight hours. Combined use of solar energy with biomass has a larger potential than either renewable resource alone to provide renewable fuels for the future. Copernican Energy is a company that received a STTR Phase I grant for a project entitled: Rapid Solar Thermal Gasification and Pyrolysis of Cellulose and Lignin for Renewable Fuel Production. Their research uses solar thermal energy as a novel way to provide the necessary energy for renewable biomass conversion to energy or useful products, and develops the science required to engineer an efficient and commercial solar biomass conversion facility. Gasification and pyrolysis of representative biomass resources grown near solar regions (corn stover and sorghum) will be converted via thermogravimetry, controlled aerosol reaction, and on-sun demonstration of feasibility of this approach. Thermogravimetric experiments will determine chemical kinetics and necessary conditions for high selectivity to syngas and tar mitigation. Economic simulations will determine the main cost drivers for product price and highlight the syngas products with highest near-term scale-up potential. The broader impacts of the application of solar thermal energy to thermochemical conversion of biomass will provide a bridge between these sources of renewable energy that could surmount many of the challenges associated with conventional biomass processing technologies. Combined use of solar energy with biomass has a larger potential than either renewable resource alone and will help alleviate the nation's dependence on foreign petroleum, generate economic growth, create fuels that are environmentally sustainable, and have an impact on the overall human impact of energy use.
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