CBiRC is basing its multidisciplinary research (see diagram below) on biocatalysis efforts on the fatty acid or polyketide biosynthetic pathway (Thrust 1) with a goal of enhancing microbial production through highly targeted biotechnologies (Thrust 2). Combining biocatalysis with chemical catalysis (Thrust 3) opens the door to the fatty acid or polyketide-based platform chemicals (examples include carboxylic acids, dienes, pyrones, branched and ring structures, ethers and esters, bi-functionals and multi-functional chemicals) at the heart of CBiRC’s vision. Together, these programs are delivering new concepts that will be evaluated in testbeds for the proof-of-concept needed to evaluate production potential. All of this will be assessed in terms of a holistic life-cycle assessment addressing both techno-economics and carbon renewability.
Biocatalysis efforts are focused on enzyme engineering, utilizing advances in structural biology and new biological diversity (see ThYme Database) with a goal of engineering enhanced microbial production. Chemical catalysis efforts are focused on innovative supporting technologies including hydrothermal stability with novel catalysts and new chemical technologies. These feedstock chemicals will form the basis for founding a vigorous biorenewable chemicals industry based on an emerging array of bio-based opportunities.