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Engineering  |  FURI

John Tindell

Hometown: Gilbert, Arizona | Graduation Date: Spring 2018
Chemical Engineering

Strain and Process Development for Detoxifying Biomass

Mentor: David Nielsen
MORE: Spring 2018

Furfural (2-furaldehyde) is a toxic by-product of lignocellulose, an accessible biomass, and reduces the bioprocess specific growth rates, product yields, and productivities of fermenting bacteria and yeast. C. basilensis, a soil bacterium, is capable of growing on furfural as its sole carbon and energy source. Through adaptive learning evolution and UV mutagenesis, a mutant strain is isolated and capable of consuming beyond 3 g/L of furfural. This advancement provides steps toward utilizing lignocellulose as a renewable raw material for sustainable bioprocessing in contrast to petroleum-based processing systems. Future DNA sequencing will determine what genetics that allow heightened furfural consumption.