Engineering inhibitor tolerance for the production of biorenewable fuels and chemicals

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Lu, Ping
Royce, Liam
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Jarboe, Laura
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Chemical and Biological Engineering

The function of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering has been to prepare students for the study and application of chemistry in industry. This focus has included preparation for employment in various industries as well as the development, design, and operation of equipment and processes within industry.Through the CBE Department, Iowa State University is nationally recognized for its initiatives in bioinformatics, biomaterials, bioproducts, metabolic/tissue engineering, multiphase computational fluid dynamics, advanced polymeric materials and nanostructured materials.

The Department of Chemical Engineering was founded in 1913 under the Department of Physics and Illuminating Engineering. From 1915 to 1931 it was jointly administered by the Divisions of Industrial Science and Engineering, and from 1931 onward it has been under the Division/College of Engineering. In 1928 it merged with Mining Engineering, and from 1973–1979 it merged with Nuclear Engineering. It became Chemical and Biological Engineering in 2005.

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1913 - present

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  • Department of Chemical Engineering (1913–1928)
  • Department of Chemical and Mining Engineering (1928–1957)
  • Department of Chemical Engineering (1957–1973, 1979–2005)
    • Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering (2005–present)

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Metabolic Engineering has enabled the production of biorenewable fuels and chemicals from biomass using recombinant bacteria. The economic viability of these processes is often limited by inhibition of the biocatalyst by the metabolic product, such as a carboxylic acid or alcohol, or by contaminant compounds in the biomass-derived sugars, such as acetic acid or furans. Historically, selection-based methods have been used to improve biocatalyst tolerance to these inhibitors. But recently, genome-wide analysis has been used to both identify the mechanism of inhibition and reverse engineer inhibitor-tolerant strains, enabling the rational, predictive manipulation of bacteria in order to increase inhibitor tolerance. Here we review recent work in this area, particularly in relation to carboxylic acids, furfural and butanol.


NOTICE: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Current Opinion in Chemical Engineering. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Current Opinion in Chemical Engineering, 1 (1) 2011,doi: 10.1016/j.coche.2011.08.003.

Sat Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2011