CSIC obtains its first project of the H2020 public-private partnership on “Bio-Based Industries”: EnzOx2 coordinated from CIB

IRNAS researchers from the group of “Lignocellulosic Materials” participate in the European Project “New ENZymatic OXidation/OXyfunctionalization Technologies for Added Value Bio-Based Products (EnzOx2)”, a H2020 Research & Innovation Action funded with € 3 million by the “Bio-Based Industries” Public-Private Partnership (http://www.bbi-europe.eu), with a € 3.7 billion total budget. The project goal is to achieve the sustainable production of chemical building blocks and other added value products from plant biomass using enzymatic technologies.

The overall aim of the EnzOx2 project is to develop new bio-chemical technologies based on the use of wild-type and engineered oxidative enzymes (such as microbial peroxygenases and oxidases), largely unexplored at the industrial level, to provide innovative solutions to some relevant bottlenecks (concerning selectivity, yield and cost efficiency) in the production of biomass (sugar, lipid and terpene) based chemical building blocks, flavour and fragrance (F&F) ingredients, and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) by taking advantage from the unique characteristics of these biocatalysts (acting alone or in enzyme cascades) to be demonstrated in the future at the pilot level and incorporated into future flagships.

EnzOx2 aims to increase the efficiency, yield and cost effectiveness of lignocellulose biorefineries by developing new bio-chemical or chemo-catalytic technologies to convert bio-based components into high added value products.

In particular the impacts of EnzOx2 will result in:

  • High (>20%) increases in conversion efficiency due to absence of side-reactions in specific enzyme transformations compared with the corresponding chemical methods
  • New products with significantly higher value from selective oxyfunctionalizations reactions that could not be previously obtained
  • Improvement (>20%) in resource efficiency over comparable current technologies, due to the milder application conditions of enzymatic technologies
  • Validation of new bio-chemical technologies to produce at least one bio-based chemical building block, one flavours and fragrances and one active pharmaceutical ingredients of bio-based origin.

The consortium includes: i) two world leaders in industrial enzymes (Novozymes) and F&F (Firmenich); ii) two chemical SMEs producing HMF (AVA-Biochem) and chiral APIs (Chiracon); iii) two specialized biotechnology SMEs (JenaBios and CLEA); iv) one technology centre in the Plastics sector (AIMPLAS); and v) three CSIC institutes (IRNAS-Seville, ICP-Madrid, CIB-Madrid) and two universities (Dresden and Delft) with expertise in enzyme reactions and bioprocess implementation. The IRNAS contribution to the work plan will be led by Dr. Ana Gutiérrez and will focus on the development of oxyfunctionalization reactions (hydroxylation) of plant lipids (basically saturated/unsaturated fatty acids, steroids and terpenes) using wild-type and engineered peroxygenases to produce highly valuable products of interest for the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and/or cosmetic industries. Additionally, biomass pre-treatment reactions using laccases will be investigated by following the changes produced in the lignin and carbohydrate polymers using 2D NMR, among other techniques. Finally, IRNAS will also contribute to project Management and Dissemination of results.

More information: http://www.enzox2.eu


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