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Biobutal Production from Synthetic Hydrogen Bacteria

Agriculture
Energy, Cleantech & Environmental
Materials
Agricultural Engineering
Biorefining / Bioproducts
Chemicals
Chemical Production
College
College of Arts & Sciences
Researchers
Tabita, Fred
Dangel, Andrew
Laguna, Rick
Rocco, Christopher
Satagopan, Sriram
Sears, Jon-David
Licensing Manager
Dahlman, Jason "Jay"
614/292-7945
dahlman.3@osu.edu

TS-015230 — Unique bacterial strains for conversion of carbon dioxide and hydrogen into biobutanol.

Biobutanol is traditionally produced by anaerobic conversion (fermentation) of carbohydrates by strains of Clostridium spp. However, the yield from this process is low, and it is cost-prohibitive from commercial standpoint. Additionally, Clostridium strains have low tolerance to butanol. There is …

The Need

Biobutanol is traditionally produced by anaerobic conversion (fermentation) of carbohydrates by strains of Clostridium spp. However, the yield from this process is low, and it is cost-prohibitive from commercial standpoint. Additionally, Clostridium strains have low tolerance to butanol. There is a growing interest in new strains of bacteria capable of generating high yields of biobutanol from crops and cellulosic raw materials in a cost-effective manner. n-butanol has a global market of about 3M ton/year (market value of well over US $4 billion).

The Technology

The Ohio State University researchers, led by Prof. BobTabita, have designed unique bacterial strains and methods to convert ubiquitous 1) carbon dioxide and hydrogen; and 2) gluconate into biobutanol (BuOH). They have generated 30+ hydrogen bacteria strains (Rhodobacter spp and Ralstonia spp), which incorporate key genetic elements from Clostridium and other bacteria to enable them to generate a single microorganism that can produce BuOH. They are seeking funds and collaborative partners to optimize these strains for utilization of other biomass substrates for production of biobutanol.

Commercial Applications

  • Biofuels for the automotive, aerospace and power generation
  • Use as chemical (solvent, plasticizer, textile industry etc.)

Benefits/Advantages

  • Hydrogen bacteria strains used in this technology have enhanced carbon dioxide fixation through modification of regulatory enzymes
  • Competing pathways for use of carbon have been deleted from the strains for increased production of butanol
  • Hydrogen bacteria strains have a high tolerance to butanol