Improving Woody Biomass Separation by Enzymatic Means

Breaking down the complex microscopic plant cell structures into sugars is an important and complex step in making ethanol from lignocellulosic plant materials. The project examines enzymatic methods to break bonds between the lignin and hemicellulose components of wood. No enzymes had been known that specifically target the ether bonds between lignin and hemicellulose. With the aid of a unique artificial hemicellulose-lignin molecule that lights up when a potentially useful enzyme acts on it, the laboratory has discovered a new enzyme that targets these bonds, along with the novel microorganism that makes it. The laboratory has characterized the expression of the enzyme and has isolated and sequenced a recombinant version of the enzyme's active site. The recombinant version of the enzyme is being isolated and will be used for tests on natural wood substrates.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Program Information: Advanced Research, Biobased Research


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $90581.00
  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    Department of Transportation
    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Johnson, Shawn

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Maine, Orono

    103 Boardman Hall
    Orono, ME  United States  04469
  • Principal Investigators:

    Kravit, Nancy

  • Start Date: 20070901
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20100831
  • Source Data: RiP Project 25208

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01572271
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Northeast Sun Grant Institute
  • Files: RIP
  • Created Date: Aug 4 2015 1:02AM