Artificial Cellulosomes for Efficient Cellulosic Ethanol Processing
Licensing Status: Available for Licensing
In the United States alone there is over 1.1 billion tons of cellulosic biomass available annually to be converted to ethanol. This biomass comes from timber, agricultural waste, corn stover, wheat straw, grass, and wood pulp byproducts. Converting this biomass to ethanol could yield over 100 billion gallons of ethanol. However, this existing process is expensive and capital intensive. Currently it costs well over $3.50 to produce a single gallon of ethanol from cellulosic biomass.
Researchers at SUNY Upstate have developed a multi-enzyme complex that is designed to more efficiently degrade cellulose. This would bring down the cost of converting cellulose to ethanol because the cellulose degradation and pre-treatment process times are shortened.
Currently this technology is patent pending (PCT filed) with broad claims covering self-assembling protein constructs, multi-protein complexes made using them, and methods for making both. The research team has also been awarded $65,000 to produce and test prototype articifial cellulosomes.
SUNY Upstate is currently looking for a commercial partner to license the technology to develop and produce artificial cellulosomes or an entrepreneur interested in starting a company based on this technology.