"New to nature" terpenes for liquid fuels from renewable raw materials

Bild Forschungsprojekt
Period:  01.09.2014 - 31.12.2017
Partner:  -
Funder:  BMEL via Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe (FNR)
Project Manager:  Max Kschowak, Dr. Markus Buchhaupt
Research Group:  Industrial Biotechnology

 The substance class of terpenoid hydrocarbons is discussed as a resource for molecules able to substitute petrochemistry-based liquid fuels. Research done mainly by U.S. research groups and companies has already laid the foundation for microbial de novo synthesis of various terpenes including potential fuel molecules. However, it will not be possible to use a pure terpene directly in existing internal combustion engines. Instead, a mixture of various hydrocarbons is needed to obtain an engine fuel, which is compatible with the existing infrastructure.

With this research project, an extension of the product range of microbial terpene production processes is explored. During the project, the technological foundation for the synthesis of "new to nature" terpenes with bacterial enzymes will be laid. This aspect provides the substance diversity required for biotechnological production of "drop-in" fuels in a medium- and long-term perspective. Moreover, the variety of uncommon terpenoid structures might be also applied as aroma and pharma compounds.

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