project . 2015 - 2019 . Closed

Tuning Clostridium for Biofuel Production

UK Research and Innovation
Funder: UK Research and InnovationProject code: 1666625
Funded under: BBSRC
Status: Closed
18 Sep 2015 (Started) 29 Sep 2019 (Ended)

Species of Clostridium bacteria have been used to produce solvents (acetone, ethanol and butanol) for decades. This process yields solvents from a renewable source that may be used as both biofuels and in the chemical industry. Research in this area has largely focussed on strictly anaerobic strains such as Clostridium acetobutylicum, although this work seeks to investigate butanol production using another strain of Clostridium that is able to tolerate higher levels of oxygen. The yield of butanol may be improved by controlling cellular redox poise, hydrogen production, iron availability, and carbon sources, although the impact of these interventions upon cellular metabolism is poorly understood. This project will monitor the production of key metabolites via NMR spectroscopy, and will seek to understand how changes in growth conditions and genetic engineering can be used to optimise solvent production in Clostridium saccharoperbutylacetonicum. This project will be undertaken through collaboration between the School of Biosciences at the University of Kent and the Research and Development group at Green Biologics Limited (GBL). Green Biologics is a leading UK industrial biotechnology company in Oxfordshire that focusses on the commercial production of renewable butanol from Clostridium bacteria.

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