Enzyme biotechnology for sustainable resource management

    Biofuels Cluster Project     
  This is a part of The National Research Flagship Project

Burning fuel for transport is the third largest contributor of greenhouse gasses and strategies to eliminate this carbon footprint need to be developed. The by-product of hydrogen fuel consumption is water thus hydrogen is a highly attractive carbon neutral fuel. Current systems that isolate hydrogen are energy intensive and therefore environmentally and economically costly. In addition, the storage of hydrogen presents huge challenges as hydrogen is extremely flammable. In nature, hydrogen can be transformed to formic acid in a benign environment without high energy input. Formic acid, which is not flammable in 85% concentrations, can be treated to re-generate hydrogen fuel in situ. By employing biotechnology, our aim is to mimic the natural enzymatic process to store hydrogen in the safe form of formic acid. Not only will this methodology save energy, the "stored" fuel will then be able to be transported easily and safely.

Podcast available for the biofuels cluster project

   - Growing beyond oil with biofuel -

Chris Easton joind the discussion on transforming waste plant material into a sustainable, low-emission fuel for the world's cars, trucks and planes. Please click the banner below to go CSIROpod page.

Grains Research & Development Corporation (GRDC) Project

Crop nutrients are a limited resource and a major expense to primary producers. Their industrial production is extremely energy intensive and a substantial contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Using enzyme biotechnology, we aim to exploit enzyme biotechnology to instead produce crop nutrients on a large scale using environmentally friendly methods at a fraction of current production costs.

Key Players

Amy Philbrook Dr. Amy Philbrook
(Principle Investigator)

Expertise: Downstream development of chemical / protein processes

Hye-Kyung Kim Dr. Hye-Kyung Kim
(Senior Research Chemist)

Expertise: Engineering and directed evolution of enzymes
Apostolos Alissandratos Dr. Apostolos Alissandratos
(Research Chemist)

Expertise: Enzyme genetic engineering and post-translational chemical modification

Hayden Matthews Dr. Hayden Matthews
(Postdoctoral Fellow, June 2011-)

Expertise: Biocatalysis

Mellissa Latter Dr. Mellissa Latter
(Postdoctoral Fellow, September 2011-)

Expertise: Biocatalysis

Hideki Onagi Dr. Hideki Onagi
(Research Chemist)

Expertise: HPLC enzyme assay development

Daniel Bartkus Mr. Daniel Bartkus
(Project Technician)

Expertise: Enzyme kinetics

Key Publications

Partner Institutes

Biofuels Cluster Project

Grains Research & Development Corporation (GRDC) Project

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