Our overall aim will be accomplished by implementing 3 workpackages.

WP1 will develop novel enzymes with elevated activity against rice straw. The WP will deploy two strategies. The first strategy will mine rice straw composting microbial communities and insect rice stem borer  symbionts for novel enzymes that display elevated activity against rice straw. The mining of the straw  composts will use proteomics to identify protein targets, informed by transcriptomic data. The rice straw enzymes from the insect will be identified from genomic and transcriptomic data of microbes that degrade  rice straw. 
The second approach will evaluate the capacity of natural and engineered arabinoxylan degrading enzymes against rice straw.

WP2 will develop engineered bacterial strains that produce advanced biofuels (alkanes) from rice straw.
In the WP2, In Silico Design will be used to model metabolic engineering strategies to produce alkanes and other biofuels from Clostridium and Geobacillus. Based on the models, metabolic pathways will be  constructed using BioBrick technologies that will be optimized through iterative hypothesis and testing  through transcriptome, proteome and metabolome profiling. 
WP2 will also develop partial consolidated bioprocessing systems based on the Geobacillus strains.

In WP3 the enzymes and microbial strains developed in WP1 and WP2, respectively, will be used to develop production systems that ferment pretreated rice straw into sugars, which are then fermented into advanced biofuels by Geobacillus  and Clostridium.

  • background

    India and the UK face similar challenges in producing sustainable and cost-effective biofuels from lignocellulose.

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  • aims

    Our overall aim is the pilot-scale development of a microbial based process able to convert rice straw-derived sugars into the advanced biofuels butanol and alkanes.

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  • interactions


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  • outputs

    The outcome of RICEFUEL will be Indian-based, cost-effective, scaled fermentation processes for the microbial (Geobacillus and Clostridia) production of butanol and alkanes using rice straw as a feedstock.

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