Because of finite nature of fossil fuel resources and imminent climate change caused by their intensive use, the demand for renewable materials and bio-based chemicals for industrial applications, as well as for renewable energy, is steadily increase. Isobutanol is a valuable building-block chemical or can be used as fuel. It can also be easily transformed to isobutylene or can replace n-butanol as industrial solvent. Actually isobutanol is produced from fossil carbon.
The aim of the BioC4 project is to develop an industrial production process for bio-based Isobutanol, which can be used as raw material for biofuel, solvent, or bioplastics, products with high market potential, in a context of techno-economic challenges in the biochemical compound commercialisation. For that purpose, an isobutanol-producing industrial yeast strain has been developped that can use lignocellulosic biomass as substrate for fermentation. The grass miscanthus has been chosen as source of biomass for its ability to grow on poor soils without irrigation and fertilisers. Methods to select best Miscanthus varietum for the production of lignocellulosic biomass adapted to fermentation were developped.
The overall aim of the project is to develop a novel bio-based value chain with minimised environmental impacts and maximised benefits for all stakeholders.
Development of a yeast strain producing more than 1.3 g/L isobutanol by fermentation of saccharified lignocellulosic biomass. A hydrolysation process was used to break down complex biomass for obtaining a fermentation substrate made of simple sugars easily assimilated by yeast.
Development of high throughput phenotyping to evaluate saccharification potential in miscanthus. A miniaturised and semi-automated hydrolysation method with hot water pretratment followed by enzymatic treatment was improved and coupled with Near Infrared detector to measure rapidly quantity of sugar released by hydrolysation.
Selection of miscanthus varietum having superior capacities to release sugar after hydrolysation. Best varietum will be used as parents in a genetic improvement programme (crossbreeding).
Fermentation residue shows potential for biogas production.
*At the time of the proposal. Please consider this data as an accurate estimate; it may vary during the project’s lifespan.
Total costs include in kind contribution by grant holders and can therefore be higher than the total requested funding.