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Enzyme Technology Research Team

Enzymes are biocatalysts playing essential roles in biochemical processes in living organisms. At present, enzymes from bioresources, particularly from microbes have been explored for utilization in various industries by direct catalysis of reactions or for development of cleaner production processes or as additives for improvement of product quality. Enzyme Technology Research team (IENT) has been established with the aim to explore enzymes from natural bioresources in Thailand with the mission on both development of platform technology for enzyme discovery using culture-dependent and culture-independent metagenomic technologies and enzyme production technology as well as on application of enzymes in target industries through collaborative and contract researches. Our R&D aims to accelerate the establishment of enzyme and bio-industries in the country.

Target researches

Green industrial processes:

Enzymes are used for development of cleaner production process by reduction of chemicals and energy consumption and wastes from conventional processes. ENZBleach, alkaliphilic xylanase from termite gut metagenome has been shown to reduce chlorine dosage in pulp bleaching process. High cell density production process for enzyme production has been developed in pre-pilot scale. The dual action textile enzyme for simultaneous desizing and scouring has also been developed (ENZease) with collaboration with Thanapaisal and an enzyme producer company. The research will lead to cost reduction and development of eco-friendly process for industry.

Biorefinery and biomass conversion industry:

Conversion of under-utilised lignocellulosic plant biomass to biofuels, chemicals, and bio- plastics has gained increasing interest from industrial sectors. Cellulases and hemicelllases are used for hydrolysis of potent biomass e.g. sugarcane bagasse, rice straw and cassava pulp to
sugar for further conversion to fuels and chemicals by bio- and catalytic processes. ENZ has developed multi-polysaccharide degrading enzymes for viscosity reduction of cassava products in very high gravity fermentation process, which is currently on up-scaling production for study enzyme performance in pilot-scale. A ternary enzyme mixture has also been developed based on synergistic action of accessory enzyme from BIOTEC fungi and expansin to enhance activity of commercial cellulase. In addition, we also collaborate with JGSEE on development of multi-disciplinary bio- and catalytic processes.

Animal feed industry:

Animal feed enzymes share a large fraction in the local enzyme market with the increasing use of polysaccharide degrading enzymes e.g. cellulases, xylanases, and mannanases for increasing digestibility of feedstuff and the use of phytase to release phosphate from feed, which results in promotion of animal’s growth and health. IENT are working on development of crude or single animal feed enzymes with various industrial partners on development of enzymes from wild type fungi in BIOTEC Culture Collection or recombinant enzymes from genetically engineered yeasts or bacteria and enzyme production by submerged and solid- state fermentation. Several projects have reached field trial phase. Further work on up-scaling production of many enzymes is on progress. In addition, IENT also study the use of microbes for production of protein supplements feed and it is now on development of up-scaling process for pilot-scale production.

Enzyme screening

Screening for new potential industrial enzymes is one of our mission. High-throughput platform and technology for screening and identification of industrially potent enzymes has been establish. Enzymes are screened from microbes in the microbial collection in Thailand Bioresource Research Center (TBRC)/National Biobank and environmental metagenomes derived from potent ecological niches which represent the wealthy genetic resources of cultured and uncultured microbial diversity of the country. Microscale protocols for high- throughput screening of selected groups of enzyme candidates from microbial isolates and metagenomes have been developed. The enzymes for potent industrial sectors with competitive niches i.e. food, biorefinery, healthcare and modern commodity eco-product industries as well as novel enzymes with potential in future industry will be targeted.

Enzyme Technology Research Team

IMG_5586_004264_ธิดารัตน์ 02

Thidarat Nimchua

Research Team Leader
Principal researcher

Contact

Enzyme Technology Research Team

Tel: 02-564-6700 ต่อ 3464