Home Back Issues July/August 2012 Next: plant plastic

Next: plant plastic

| Print |  Email
Articles - July/August 2012
Monday, July 09, 2012

 

BY LINDA BAKER

0712 NextMaking biofuels from plants requires breaking down the plant into sugars, which then ferment into ethanol. One of the challenges with that process is what to do with lignin, the tough glue that holds the plant fibers together. Corvallis-based Trillium FiberFuels, in partnership with Oregon State University, addresses that problem by advancing development of a unique enzyme called manganese peroxidase. The enzyme will not only accelerate the breakdown of lignin, but it may also lead to the manufacture of new eco-friendly lignin-based products, such as adhesives and plastics now derived from fossil fuels. Initial work on manganese peroxidase was conducted by OSU professors Christine Kelly and Curtis Lajoie, who developed a highly productive yeast in which the enzyme grows more quickly — and cheaply. (Manganese peroxidase does occur naturally in white-rot fungi, but in extremely small quantities). In some plants, lignin can be as much as 30% of the biomass material, says Trillium president Chris Beatty, who recently received a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to commercialize manganese peroxidase. The goal “isn’t just to get lignin out of the way,” Beatty says. “We want to do something useful, by making value-added products that can replace petrochemicals.”

 

More Articles

What I'm Reading

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Peter Lizotte at ACME Business Solutions and Roger Busse at Pacific Continental Bank share their favorite reads.


Read more...

I Know How You Feel

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

Most smartphones come equipped with speech recognition systems like Siri or Cortana that are capable of understanding the human voice and putting words into actions. But what if smartphones could do more? What if smartphones could register feeling?


Read more...

The clean fuels opportunity

News
Monday, November 10, 2014
111014-dirtyfuel-thumbBY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR

A market for low-carbon transportation fuels has a chance to flourish in Oregon if regulators adopt the second phase of the state’s Clean Fuels Program.


Read more...

Semiconductor purgatory

News
Monday, October 06, 2014
roundup-logo-thumb-14BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Intel's manufacturing way station; Merkley's attack dog; Diamond Foods gets into the innovation business.


Read more...

Kill the Meeting

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Meetings get a bad rap. A few local companies make them count.


Read more...

Healthcare pullback

News
Thursday, November 20, 2014
112014-boehnercare-thumbBY JASON NORRIS | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Each month for Oregon Business, we assess factors that are shaping current capital market activity—and what they mean to investors. Here we take a look at two major developments regarding possible rollbacks of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).


Read more...

Innovation: a critique

News
Wednesday, October 08, 2014
1008 innovation thumbBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

A Design Week panel discussion raises questions about how innovative we really are.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS