Integrative Biorefinery Laboratory
The Integrative Biorefinery Laboratory has been established as a focal point for multi-disciplinary biorefinery research with the combined strength from BIOTEC and the Joint Graduate School of Energy and Environment (JGSEE) King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi, with alliance in NANOTEC and networks of leading local universities and international institutions. This strategic laboratory focuses on development of platform technology on conversion of the underutilized agricultural biomass and sugars to valorized fuels and chemicals by bio- and chemo-catalytic processes and on translation of technology to industrial application. The facility is fully equipped with lab-scale high pressure thermal reactors and a catalytic reactor system for pretreatment, fractionation and conversion of biomass to fuels and chemicals. The laboratory is also equipped with bioreactors and standard bioprocess equipment. Process upscaling is studied in collaboration with units in BIOTEC and JGSEE.
I. Biomass pretreatment and fractionation. Our research aims to develop low energy pretreatment and fractionation proceses with recoverable solvents and chemicals. The current technology focuses on hydrothermal and organosolv-based methods for improving digestibility of potent lignocellulosic biomass and separating its components for maximized valorization in integrative biorefineries.
II. Enzymes for biomass hydrolysis and modification. The work focuses on development of efficient lignocellulolytic enzyme systems for saccharification or modification of plant biomass. The research targets on systematic formulation of cellulases, hemicellulases, and ligninases, as well as non-catalytic components from our “enzyme library” which includes a variety of biomass degrading enzymes from the BIOTEC Culture Collection and environmental metagenomes as well as on development of enzyme hyper-producing strains.
III. Conversion of sugars and lignon to fuels and chemicals. Our research focuses on development of catalytic/bio-catalytic/ or hybrid processes for conversion of sugars and lignin to biofuels (bioethanol, drop-in fuel, syngas) and commodity chemicals (furans, organic acids, phenols). The core technology is on catalyst design, biocatalysts synthesis and genetic modification of microbial strains through our network.