- 10:00 AM

Integration of Biomass Conversion Processing Steps with Advanced Enzymes

Mohammed Moniruzzaman, Genencor International, Inc, 2600 Kennedy Drive, Beloit, WI 53511

The emergence of lignocellulosic biomass as a renewable energy resource is eagerly anticipated in many countries around the world as a means to decrease dependence on imported oil, reduce air pollution, and quickly and effectively impact greenhouse gas emissions. Biomass-based ethanol technologies are rapidly evolving and bottlenecks are being identified that need to be overcome to achieve widespread commercialization. Current research is driven by the need to reduce the cost of biomass to ethanol production. The preferred method is to thermochemically pretreat the biomass material and subsequently, enzymatically hydrolyze the pretreated material to fermentable sugars that can then be converted to ethanol. Pretreatment research is focused on developing processes that would result in reduced bioconversion time, lower cellulase enzyme usage, and/or higher ethanol yields. Cellulase research efforts are focused on developing a cost-effective, synergistically acting enzyme mixture that would meet the end user's needs. Robust fermentation microorganisms are also being developed for conversion of biomass sugars to ethanol and other bioproducts. This presentation will provide a perspective on biomass processing by highlighting the key elements required for commercializing lignocellulosic biomass conversion, with particular emphasis on some technological advances in cellulase development.