STTR Phase I: A Gas-Solid Spouted Bed Bioreactor for Solid State Fermentation to Produce Enzymes and Biochemicals from Plant Biomass

Period of Performance: 01/01/2006 - 12/31/2006

$100K

Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Bioprocessing Innovative Company, Inc.
4734 Bridal Path Court
Dublin, OH 43017
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

The Ohio State University
1330 Kinnear Road
Columbus, OH 43212
Institution POC

Abstract

This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I research project will develop a gas-solid spouted bed bioreactor (SBB) for solid state fermentations (SSF) to produce hydrolytic enzymes (e.g., amylases, phytase, chitinase) and biochemicals (e.g., lactic acid) from solid starch materials. SSF offers higher production rates and easier product recovery compared to submerged fermentation (SmF), along with the ability to use many agricultural commodities and byproducts, such as rice, corn and wheat bran, as substrates. By virtue of its use of plant biomass as a substrate, SSF can become a sustainable system of chemical production from natural resources, thereby providing economic benefit to US agriculture and increasing national competitiveness. The proposed gas-solid spouted bed bioreactor can overcome problems suffered by conventional SSF systems. Using SBB for enzyme production potentially can reduce enzyme costs by more than 75% and thus increase their applications. Commercially, this new solid state fermentation (SFF) process can be used for economical production of industrially important enzymes from solid plant biomass. Hydrolyases such as amylases, cellulases, phytase, and chitinase have wide applications in industry. These enzymes can be more economically produced from plant biomss in SSF using the spouted bed bioreactor. Amylases and many other hydrolase enzymes are used in bioprocessing, including corn wet-milling, which currently generates more than $24.4 billion market value. Reducing the costs of these hydrolyase enzymes is critical to the emerging biorefinery and bio-based industrial products. The gas-solid spouted bed bioreactor (SBB) also can be used in simultaneous saccharification and fermentation processes for biochemicals production from plant biomass containing starch or cellulose. Successfully developing the proposed SBB and SSF technologies will provide sustainable chemical production, protect natural resources and the environment, and enhance economic opportunity and quality of life. The project also will train high quality personnel in the much needed bioprocessing technology areas, and provide an infrastructure for timely commercialization of university research results. There will be job creation throughout the commercial development and manufacturing phases.