MORE | Spring 2018

Strain and Process Development for Detoxifying Biomass

Sustainability icon, disabled. A green leaf.

Furfural (2-furaldehyde) is a toxic by-product of lignocellulose, an accessible biomass, and reduces the bioprocess specific growth rates, product yields, and productivities of fermenting bacteria and yeast. C. basilensis, a soil bacterium, is capable of growing on furfural as its sole carbon and energy source. Through adaptive learning evolution and UV mutagenesis, a mutant strain is isolated and capable of consuming beyond 3 g/L of furfural. This advancement provides steps toward utilizing lignocellulose as a renewable raw material for sustainable bioprocessing in contrast to petroleum-based processing systems. Future DNA sequencing will determine what genetics that allow heightened furfural consumption.

Student researcher

Photo of Tindell, John

John Tindell

Chemical engineering

Hometown: Gilbert, Arizona

Graduation date: Spring 2018