FURI | Spring 2020

Hydrolysis of Biomass Derived Cellulose and Hemicellulose with Engineered Bacillus Subtilis Strains

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The modern transition away from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources has increased the need for sustainable biofuels. Current industrial processes use biofuels derived from cellulose and hemicellulose; however, these processes are costly and inefficient. The research team is genetically engineering Bacillus subtilis to increase the efficiency of biofuel production such that bacteria are able to directly secrete enzymes for the hydrolysis of cellulose and hemicellulose. The engineered bacteria have thus far been successful in the in vitro breakdown of xylan and cellobiose.

Student researcher

Bethany Kalscheur

Bethany Ann Kalscheur

Chemical engineering

Hometown: Queen Creek, Arizona, United States

Graduation date: Spring 2021