Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A*STAR’s ICES to develop technologies to produce high value chemicals from biomass

04.12.2012
First-of-its-kind Lab focused on developing scientific approaches towards biorenewable feedstocks

The Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences (ICES), a research institute of The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), officially opened its Metabolic Engineering Research Laboratory (MERL) in Biopolis today. The new laboratory will design and engineer microbial cellular factories (Escherichia coli and yeast based) capable of cost-effectively producing high value chemicals from agricultural waste.

By creating new technologies and know-how, the laboratory will develop new strategies and applications for efficient biomass utilisation. It will also focus on developing new computational and experimental approaches for synthetic biology and metabolic engineering applications to accelerate the engineering of the cellular factories.

2. The development of a bio-economy based on renewable plant biomass has emerged as a key priority for many countries; by 2015, the global biorenewable chemicals market is estimated at US $6.8 billion[1]. The fast growing biorenewable chemicals industry not only represents a shift as the traditional petrochemical industry re-invents itself in the light of a carbon-constrained future, but it offers a valuable economic opportunity for Singapore to renew its chemical industry and maintain its advantage as a leading chemical hub in the region.

3. The MERL laboratory will work for the benefit of a sustainable chemicals industry, which is looking for green alternatives to traditional petrochemical routes. The technology developments from MERL will provide sustainable routes for the production of chemicals such as acrylic acid, butadiene, and adipic acid from biorenewable sources. The systems biology and metabolic engineering toolbox that the laboratory develops can serve as an enabling platform for the biofuels, pharmaceutical, and nutraceutical industries.

3. The derivation of chemicals from biomass is an emerging field requiring expertise in genomics, mechanical processing, metabolic engineering, catalysis and process engineering. This platform aims to foster collaborations amongst the research institutes from A*STAR’s Biomedical Research Council and Science and Engineering Research Council. Through the convergence of capabilities, researchers study technology challenges and develop platform technologies which can be transferred to industry and applied to a wide range of chemical targets. The research brings together biologists, chemists, physicists, and engineers, universities and industry partners to work on common goals, organised to create solutions for applications in medical, chemical, food, and agricultural industries.

4. “We will collaborate with the scientific community and industry to address technological capabilities essential to form the foundation for bioprocess development activities. The 10-member research team will develop applications using novel and sustainable biological processes as an alternative route to conventional chemical processes,” said Professor Zhao Huimin, the key scientist for MERL biomass programme.

5. “Most of the world’s current chemicals and chemical-based products are derived from crude oil. Eco-friendly processes for the next generation of chemicals, materials are urgently required. The possibility of creating an entirely new value chain, deriving materials and chemical products from biomass and through the integration of biological and chemical sciences, with novel techniques and know-how is definitely an exciting prospect,” said Dr Keith Carpenter, ICES’s Executive Director.

For media enquiries, please contact:
Ms Caroline Chia
Tel.: +65 6796 3884
Mobile: +65 91703988
Fax.: +65 6873 4805
Email: chialic@scei.a-star.edu.sg
About the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)

The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) is the lead agency for fostering world-class scientific research and talent for a vibrant knowledge-based and innovation-driven Singapore. A*STAR oversees 14 biomedical sciences and physical sciences and engineering research institutes, and six consortia & centres, located in Biopolis and Fusionopolis as well as their immediate vicinity.

A*STAR supports Singapore's key economic clusters by providing intellectual, human and industrial capital to its partners in industry. It also supports extramural research in the universities, and with other local and international partners.

For more information about A*STAR, please visit www.a-star.edu.sg.

About the Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences (ICES)

Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences (ICES) is a member of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). Established in 2002, its mission is to carry out world class scientific research, to develop novel technology and to nurture creative scientists and engineers to support economic growth in Singapore and to make a positive difference to society. The research area covers chemistry and chemical engineering science, combined with advanced analytical characterisation and measurement to develop state of the art technology for the petrochemical, general chemical, fine chemical and pharmaceutical industries. For more information, visit www.ices.a-star.edu.sg
Associated links
http://www.a-star.edu.sg/Media/News/PressReleases/tabid/828/
articleType/ArticleView/articleId/1749/Default.aspx

A*STAR Research | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://www.a-star.edu.sg
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht World’s Largest Study on Allergic Rhinitis Reveals new Risk Genes
17.07.2018 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

nachricht Plant mothers talk to their embryos via the hormone auxin
17.07.2018 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Behavior-influencing policies are critical for mass market success of low carbon vehicles

17.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Plant mothers talk to their embryos via the hormone auxin

17.07.2018 | Life Sciences

Subaru Telescope helps pinpoint origin of ultra-high energy neutrino

16.07.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>