Technologies

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WARF Technologies

You can also view all of our technologies on the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) website »

GLBRC's Technologies

Technologies

As a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Research Center, we are positioned to make key discoveries and major advances that will lead to breakthrough technologies for eventual large-scale conversion of biomass into fuels. Each new invention, patent and license listed here represents another step toward that goal.

GLBRC is seeking commercial partners interested in developing the following technologies. You can also view GLBRC technologies on the DOE Energy Innovation Portal.

Modified Yeast with Enhanced Tolerance for GVL Biomass Solvent

Jeff Piotrowski, Trey Sato, Chad Myers, Robert Landick

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Gamma-valerolactone (GVL) is an inexpensive solvent derived from biomass that can be used to break apart tough lignocellulose into fermentable sugars including xylose and glucose. GVL-based techniques are a potentially transformative breakthrough in biofuel production (for more information see WARF reference number P130123US01).

Problematically, residual levels of GVL...

Patent application submitted

Grass Modified for Easier Bioprocessing

John Ralph, Curtis Wilkerson, Saunia Withers, John Sedbrook

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Manufacturing paper and producing biofuels is difficult because the lignin in plant cell walls is tough to degrade. Current techniques are energy intensive and use harsh chemicals. In the case of biofuels, costly pretreatments are required to alter the lignin and help enzymes produce sugars for fermentation. Grass lignins contain...

Patent application submitted

Microbes Produce High Yields of Fatty Alcohols from Glucose

Brian Pfleger, J. Tyler Youngquist

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Fatty alcohols are used in detergents, emulsifiers, lubricants and personal care items. More than 1.3 million tons of fatty alcohols are used worldwide each year, representing a $3 billion market.

Currently, fatty alcohols are produced either through the processing of natural fats and oils or from petrochemicals. As...

Patent application submitted

Selective Conversion of Lignin into Simple Aromatic Compounds

Shannon Stahl, Alireza Rahimi

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Lignin is a major component of non-edible biomass (15-30 percent by weight; 40 percent by energy). It is a cheap byproduct of pulp and biofuel production and is one of the few naturally occurring sources of high-volume aromatic compounds. Converting lignin’s complex biopolymer structure into simple organic chemicals attracts substantial...

Patent issued

Two-Step Process Converts Lignin into Simple Aromatic Compounds

Shannon Stahl, Alireza Rahimi, Joshua Coon, Arne Ulbrich

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Lignin is a major component of non-edible biomass. It is a cheap byproduct of pulp and biofuel production and is one of the few naturally occurring sources of valuable aromatic compounds. Converting lignin’s complex biopolymer structure into simple organic chemicals has attracted major interest.

For example, the world’s...

Patent application submitted

Extending Juvenile Stage of Plants for Biofuels and Feedstock

Shawn Kaeppler, Natalia de Leon Gatti, Jillian Foerster

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Juvenile and adult grass tissue dramatically differs in anatomy, chemistry and ability to withstand stresses. Juvenile plants cannot flower and their leaves are better able to resist cold and drought. Moreover, they may be easier to process for biofuels and more digestible when used as feed.

The genes controlling the...

Patent issued

Gene Controls Flowering Time in Corn

Shawn Kaeppler, Natalia de Leon Gatti, German Muttoni, Jillian Foerster

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Plant development is marked by three phases: juvenile, adult vegetative and flowering. The timing between phases is known to impact traits like yield, productivity and tissue digestibility. However, the genetic triggers that drive these phase changes are not fully understood.

UW–Madison researchers previously identified a gene in maize...

Patent application submitted

Producing Linear Alpha Olefins from Biomass

James Dumesic, Dong Wang, David Martin Alonso, Sikander Hakim

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Linear alpha olefins (LAOs) are valuable commodity chemicals traditionally derived from petroleum. They are versatile building blocks for making a range of chemical products like polyethylene, synthetic oils, plasticizers, detergents and oilfield fluids.

Relying on fossil fuel to manufacture LAOs is problematic. Not only are the standard methods...

Patent application submitted

Concentrated C5 and C6 Sugars from Biomass

James Dumesic, David Martin Alonso, Jeremy Luterbacher

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Widespread production of sustainable fuels and chemicals will require cost-effective methods for breaking down biomass into its constituent sugars. Attaining high yields of concentrated C5 and C6 carbohydrates (e.g., xylose and glucose) is particularly challenging. Many processes have been tested but all have drawbacks such as very high temperatures or...

Patent application submitted

Biofuel-Producing Lactobacillus Strain

James Steele, Jeffrey Broadbent

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Microbial transformation of biomass into biofuels remains an important part of the United States’ strategy to reduce its dependency on fossil fuels. To produce ethanol from biomass, microbes must be able to efficiently metabolize plant sugars into ethanol under industrial fermentation stresses.

Naturally occurring microorganisms have not evolved...

Patent issued

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