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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number BB/J019402/1
Title Fractionation and Exploitation of the Component Value of DDGS
Status Completed
Energy Categories Renewable Energy Sources(Bio-Energy, Production of other biomass-derived fuels (incl. Production from wastes)) 50%;
Renewable Energy Sources(Bio-Energy, Production of transport biofuels (incl. Production from wastes)) 50%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields BIOLOGICAL AND AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES (Biological Sciences) 50%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Professor G Lye
No email address given
Biochemical Engineering
University College London
Award Type Research Grant
Funding Source BBSRC
Start Date 23 May 2013
End Date 22 February 2016
Duration 33 months
Total Grant Value £302,497
Industrial Sectors Transport Systems and Vehicles
Region London
Programme Integrated Biorefining Research and Technology Club (IBTI)
Investigators Principal Investigator Professor G Lye , Biochemical Engineering, University College London (99.999%)
  Other Investigator Professor JM Ward , Biochemical Engineering, University College London (0.001%)
Web Site
Objectives This grant is linked to BB/J019445/1, BB/J019399/1, BB/J019437/1.
WHO WILL BENEFIT FROM THIS RESEARCH? This is a full proposal invited based on an outline submission to the IBTI club. As an industry club, the immediate beneficiaries will be the club members who have contributed to its foundation, some of whom have a direct interest in increasing the value of DDGS arising from first generation biofuel production while others have a broader interest in thermophilic bacteria and/or producing chemicals from renewables. In the longer term, if we can gain added value from DDGS such that the economics of first generation wheat to ethanol processes are improved, a second group of beneficiaries will be UK farmers who will gain a stable alternative market for their feed wheat. Given that we intend to produce additional products from the DDGS, including running a second fermentation, this will dramatically improve the greenhouse gas balance of a wheat to ethanol + other products biorefinery. Through displacement of the use of fossil hydrocarbons for this purpose, the wider environmental benefit will help UK government reach its mandated targets and, more importantly, help reverse the trajectory of global warming which threatens social and economic disruption. In addition, the residual material that will be produced is likely to be of increased feed value for pigs and poultry compared with traditional DDGS because of its reduced fibre content. This will enhance its value as a protein supplement in pig and poultry diets and thereby reduce the reliance of the animal feed industry on imported soyabean meal. This will further increase the environmental benefit of UK-based wheat to ethanol production.
HOW WILL THEY BENEFIT? Industrial club members of IBTI will benefit via a number of routes. Firstly, club members have first refusal on the right to license an IP arising from the programme. Secondly, they will get the opportunity to see documents prepared for publication in advance of submission. In this way they will get a unique opportunity to secure any unforeseen IP contained in the work. Finally, by attending dissemination meetings (see below) they will gain access to early stage results in the research programme, which could assist their own research. This benefit could be realised within the next 5 years. UK farmers will benefit through market stabilisation and subsequent long term supply contracts, giving them the confidence to expand their activities, potentially in a 5-7 year timeframe. The global development of biorefineries which supplant fossil fuel usage and some imports, will ultimately benefit us all by reduction of net CO2 emissions. The timescale of this depends on other factors, outside of our control. PDRAs on the project will gain valuable experience on working on feedstocks in the context of a biorefinery and the interdisciplinary nature of the team.
WHAT WILL BE DONE TO ENSURE THAT THEY HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO BENEFIT? IB TI runs meetings at 6 monthly intervals where the results of IBTI funded research are presented under an agreement of confidentiality. This provides early access for IBTI club Industrial members to arising results. IBTI club members will also get sight of any documents planned for publication, 4 weeks prior to submission. We will also use the forum of IBTI meetings to explore the opportunity to add value to this work by internal collaboration with IBTI funded groups, and use our links in BSBEC to look for further synergies, given the overlap between biofuel production and chemicals from biomass. Any IP arising from work done within the programme will be secured by Imperial Innovations on behalf of the consortium members. Funding through IBTI will create a contractual obligation to offer licences to IBTI club companies in the first instance and, given their remit, Imperial Innovations will actively pursue the possibility of licensing the technology as rapidly as possible. The PI and CoIs all have experience of working with Industry (see Pt1A of the proposal).
Abstract The large scale availability of DDGS from UK feed-wheat based bioethanol plants provides an opportunity to consider enhancing its value. DDGS is made by separating the residue of the wheat grain, post-fermentation (distillers grain) with a solubles syrup created by concentration of the thin stillage recovered post-distillation. We argue that the best place to add value is to extract material at the distillers grain stage. Furthermore, we maintain that extraction should be gentle enough to maintain the animal feed value of the protein in the residue, once combined with the solubles. For reasons of practicality we will initially use a surrogate distillers grain by recovering the solids from DDGS, but through collaborations with Vivergo, may be able to access the real product as the project progresses.
The ultimate aim is to extract fat/oil using supercritical CO2, use the distillers grain in a second fermentation by hydrolysis and microbial metabolism of the non-starch carbohydrates and use some of the protein in biocatalytic upgrading to defined chemical products. In the first stage of the project, where we will be developing methods to extract fat/oil, release and hydrolyse the carbohydrate and selectively metabolise certain protein components, we will benchmark the suitability of the methods by the level of retention of the animal feed value of the residue. Not only do we intend to retain the feed value, but also investigate whether it can be enhanced for use with poultry, having removed the bulk of the fibre. We believe that there is scope for novelty in the use of explosive decompression in SCCO2 treatment, to open up the grain structure to enzyme action.
In the second part of the programme we will develop new metabolically versatile bacterial strains able to degrade most of the non-starch carbohydrate and convert it to 1-butanol, and selective proteolytic and tandem biocatalytic methods to convert part of the protein to value-added chemical products.
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 31/03/14