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

The global challenge

News
Friday, June 27, 2014
062714 thumb globalmarketBY JASON NORRIS | OB BLOGGER

Over the last several months we have seen a wave of cross-border acquisitions, primarily U.S.-based companies looking to purchase non-U.S.-based companies. There are a few reasons for this, but the main culprit is the U.S. corporate tax system. The United States has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world.


Read more...

Charged ride

June 2014
Thursday, May 29, 2014
0614launchBY JESSICA RIDGWAY

Brad Baker, CEO and co-founder of Works Electric, is a good husband. His wife, an OHSU employee, sought a more efficient way to commute up Marquam “Pill” Hill, so she asked Baker to build a transportation solution.


Read more...

The business of running a food cart

News
Thursday, June 05, 2014
OBM1BY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER

What does it take to launch and run one of these mobile food businesses?  


Read more...

Timber town

June 2014
Thursday, May 29, 2014
BY LEE VAN DER VOO

A forest collaboration saves the Rough & Ready Lumber Company.


Read more...

Hipsters gone wild

June 2014
Thursday, May 29, 2014
BY JON BELL

A new generation of outdoor apparel companies targets the young and the urban.


Read more...

Reader Input: Energy policy

June 2014
Thursday, May 29, 2014

How serious a problem is climate change? Readers want to have their cake and eat it, too.


Read more...

Trends in business succession

News
Thursday, July 03, 2014
TrendsBY TED AUSTIN & MIKE BAELE | GUEST CONTRIBUTORS

The Office of Economic Analysis announced that Oregon is currently enjoying the strongest job growth since 2006. While this resurgence has been welcome, the lingering effects of the 2008 “Great Recession” continues to affect Oregon businesses, especially with regard to estate planning and business succession.


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