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.

Identification of A Grass-Specific Enzyme That Acylates Monolignols with P-Coumarate (PMT)

Curtis Wilkerson, Saunia Withers, John Ralph, John Sedbrook

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Lignin, an abundant polymer of vascular plants that provides structural integrity to the plant cell wall, is the second most abundant polymer on earth and critical to the strength and survival of terrestrial plants. Unfortunately, its mechanical strength and resistance to chemical degradation, which is so essential for plant health,...

Patent application submitted

Zipped Lignin Poplar Trees

Curtis Wilkerson, Saunia Withers, Shawn Mansfield, John Ralph

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Lignin is an important plant cell wall component that provides critical structural support to plants.  Native lignin is very difficult to break down by chemical or enzymatic means, which makes the task of producing paper and biofuels from plant material extremely difficult.  However, lignin with ester bonds, called “zipped” lignin,...

Patent application submitted

Control of Cellulose Biosynthesis

Kyung-Hwan Han, Jae-Heung Ko, Won-Chan Kim, Joo-Yeol Kim

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Cellulose is a complex carbohydrate that serves as the basic structural component of plant cell walls. It accounts for roughly one-third of all vegetal matter, making it the most common organic compound on earth. Due to its ubiquitous nature, cellulose and its derivatives are key resources for the agriculture, forestry,...

Patent application submitted

Modified Yeast Ferments Biomass Xylose

Trey Sato

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Producing biofuel on a useful scale requires efficient fermentation of cellulosic plant material. The sugars glucose and xylose are the most abundant carbohydrates found in hemicellulose. The yeast most commonly utilized for industrial fermentation – Saccharomyces cerevisiae – can ferment glucose but not xylose.

By studying the genomes of wild...

Biological Material

Modified Yeast Show Improved Xylose Fermentation and Toxin Tolerance

Trey Sato

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The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing genetically engineered yeast strains better able to ferment xylose and tolerate biomass pretreatment toxins.

Bleaching plant material with alkaline hydrogen peroxide (AHP) is an old process used for papermaking. Several decades ago researchers suggested that this method...

Biological Material

Renewable Plastic from Glucose-Fed Microbes

Brian Pfleger, Daniel Agnew

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Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) are a class of polyesters naturally produced by bacteria. PHA has structural properties that make it attractive as a renewable plastic. Especially promising is medium chain-length PHA (mcl-PHA), which consists of fatty acids containing six or more carbons. This form of PHA could be useful in medical devices,...

Patent application submitted

Enhanced Biomass Digestion with Wood Wasp Bacteria

Cameron Currie, Brian Fox

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The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing methods for deconstructing lignocellulose using secretions from the Streptomyces species ‘ActE.’

Plant biomass represents a vast and renewable source of energy. However, harnessing this energy requires breaking down tough lignin and cellulose cell walls. In...

Patent application submitted

More Efficient Ethanol Production from Mixed Sugars Using Spathaspora Yeast

Thomas Jeffries, Tanya Long, Yi-Kai Su, Laura Willis

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The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing a method of cofermenting biomass xylose, glucose and other sugar mixtures for higher ethanol yields.

Ethanol obtained from the fermentation of grains and sugars is being blended with gasoline to bolster dwindling petroleum supplies. The...

Patent issued

Mild, Nontoxic Production of Fuels and Chemicals from Biomass

Ronald Raines, Benjamin Caes, Michael Palte

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The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing a method to produce strong yields of HMF, furfural and fructose from cellulose using boronic acids.

Fossil fuel resources supply almost 90 percent of the world’s energy and the vast majority of its organic chemicals. This dependency...

Patent application submitted

Alpha-xylosidase – A New Enzyme for Enhanced Conversion of Lignocellulosic Biomass to Fermentable Sugars

Jonathan Walton, John Scott-Craig, Melissa Borrusch

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Producing cellulosic ethanol from biomass feedstock such as corn stover requires the breakdown of sturdy cell wall materials, including cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin, into fermentable sugars.  This breakdown is facilitated commercially by various enzyme cocktails.  However, the high cost of enzymes has been a major barrier to reducing the production...

Patent issued

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