Synthetic Biology & Advanced Fermentation Strategies for Biofuels

Capability Title Synthetic biology & Advanced Fermentation Strategies for biofuels
Laboratories Idaho National Laboratory (INL), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Sandia National Laboratory (SNL)
Capability experts Ryan Davis (SNL), Jon Magnuson (PNNL), Quang Nguyen (INL), Eric Sundstrom (LBNL), Vicki Thompson (INL), Derek Vardon (NREL)
  • Biochemical and metabolic engineering as well as synthetic biology.
  • Computational and experimental methodologies for designing and optimization of genetic and enzymatic networks to engineer cells to produce biofuels.
  • Genome mining for new bioactive small molecule and enzyme discovery
  • Biological production platforms e.g. polyketide synthase, rhodosporidium toruloides and Lipomyces starkeya platforms making g quantities of terpenes
  • Designing pathways toward combinatorial natural product biosynthesis and biofuel production
  • Advanced fermentation strategies to increase yield, titer and productivity
  • Advice for technology scale up from research to implementation at commercial scale.
  • Feedstock design, selection and preparation under consistent specifications.
Limitations Volume and time-scale limitations for fermentation scale-up limit production quantities for experimental fuel property testing. Need to rely on predictive fuel property tools for estimates.
Unique aspects The unique research capabilities allow researchers to span the full range of bioprocess development to generate desired fuel molecules and fuel precursors. This starts with the ability to engineer metabolic pathways in a host organism using the latest genetic transformation tools and methodologies. Host performance can be evaluated under a range of growth conditions prior to scale-up. Bioreactor cultivation ranges from the mL to 9000-L scale, with integrated capabilities for fuel molecule recovery and purification. Outputs iteratively inform techno-economic and life-cycle analysis to guide R&D.
Availability 50% current capacity committed

Yuzawa, S.; Mirsiaghi, M.; Jocic, R.; Fujii, T.; Masson, F.; Benites, V. T.; Baidoo, E. E. K.; Sundstrom, E.; Tanjore, D.; Pray, T. R.; et al. Short-Chain Ketone Production by Engineered Polyketide Synthases in Streptomyces Albus. Nature Communications 2018, 9 (1), 4569.

Hanko, E. K. R.; Denby, C. M.; Sànchez i Nogué, V.; Lin, W.; Ramirez, K. J.; Singer, C. A.; Beckham, G. T.; Keasling, J. D. Engineering β-Oxidation in Yarrowia Lipolytica for Methyl Ketone Production. Metabolic Engineering 2018, 48, 52–62.

Zhuang, X.; Kilian, O.; Monroe, E.; Ito, M.; Tran-Gymfi, M. B.; Liu, F.; Davis, R. W.; Mirsiaghi, M.; Sundstrom, E.; Pray, T.; et al. Monoterpene Production by the Carotenogenic Yeast Rhodosporidium Toruloides. Microbial Cell Factories 2019, 18 (1), 54.

Liu, F.; Monroe, E.; Davis, R. W. Engineering Microbial Consortia for Bioconversion of Multisubstrate Biomass Streams to Biofuels. Biofuels – Challenges and opportunities 2018.

Butcher, M. G.; Meyer, P. A.; Hallen, R. T.; Albrecht, K. O.; Clayton, C. K.; Polikarpov, E.; Rappe, K. G.; Jones, S. B.; Magnuson, J. K. Fungal Metabolites as Precursors to Renewable Transportation Fuels. Fuel 2018, 215, 123–141.