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Scientists Uncover Production Of Aromatic Alcohols From Lignocellulosic Biomass

First published last week, on November 25, 2019, the article titled “Consolidated Production of Coniferol and Other High-Value Aromatic Alcohols Directly from Lignocellulosic Biomass” has gained media attention across the globe. Given the finite geological oil reserves, the competition to identify alternative biobased and biorefinery processes continues to grow. According to the article, the aim in identifying such products is not only to find alternatives, but most importantly to “overcome significant costs and productivity barriers.”

In the aforementioned article, published in the Green Chemistry Journal, scientists write about a novel technique using the biocatalytic production of coniferol (a versatile chemical block) directly from lignocellulosic biomass. The process to do so involves a biocatalytic treatment of lignocellulose, which releases and converts ferulic acid with feruloyl esterase (XynZ), carboxylic acid reductase (CAR), and aldo-keto reductase (AKR). This catalytic reaction achieves the equivalent release of ferulic acid from lignocellulose compared to alkaline hydrolysis, also displaying efficient conversion of ferulic acid to coniferol. Consolidating a biodegradation-biotransformation strategy for the production of high value fine chemicals from waste plant biomass, this novel process offers a potential to minimize environmental waste and add value to agro-industrial residues.

A number of grants, including from the São Paulo Research Foundation and David Phillips Fellowship, supported the study outlined in the journal article. Grants of these types continue to arise as the need to address resource efficiency and, therefore, biobased chemical production has become the focus of various government agencies in many countries. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for example, often provides scientist from all backgrounds similar opportunities.

©2020 Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

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Lynn Bergeson, Campbell PC, Toxic Substances Control Act Attorney, federal insecticide lawyer, industrial biotechnology legal counsel, Food Drug Administration law
Managing Partner

Lynn L. Bergeson has earned an international reputation for her deep and expansive understanding of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), European Union Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), and especially how these regulatory programs pertain to nanotechnology, industrial biotechnology, synthetic biology, and other emerging transformative technologies. Her knowledge of and involvement in the policy process allows her to develop client-focused strategies whether...

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Ligia Duarte Botelho Bergeson Campbell Manager
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Ligia Duarte Botelho, M.A., Manager with B&C® Consortia Management, L.L.C. (BCCM), assists consortia in reaching and exceeding their institutional goals in policy advocacy, public outreach, product stewardship, and testing and compliance.  Ms. Botelho offers BCCM clients the significant experience she gained as manager of a national medical science research and policy consortium, with a demonstrated excellence in synthesizing and communicating effective advocacy messages in her work with academic, global health, and science institutions.  Ms. Botelho holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Kings College London, is fully trilingual (English, French, and Portuguese), and has experience working with government agencies in the U.S., Europe, and Southeast Asia.

Ms. Botelho’s administrative and management support services include organizing and administrating conferences and annual meetings, managing budgets, leading membership recruitment, and building consensus on strategic goals.  She also tracks pertinent regulatory issues, alerting consortium members promptly of relevant industry or government developments, and assists in the preparation of comments submitted to government agencies.

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