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Augmenting Protocols for In-situ Separation of Biocompounds.

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In our modern world the source of for many chemicals is to acquire and refine oil. This process is becoming an expensive to the environment and to human health. Alternative processes for acquiring the final product have been developed but

In our modern world the source of for many chemicals is to acquire and refine oil. This process is becoming an expensive to the environment and to human health. Alternative processes for acquiring the final product have been developed but still need work. One product that is valuable is butanol. The normal process for butanol production is very intensive but there is a method to produce butanol from bacteria. This process is better because it is more environmentally safe than using oil. One problem however is that when the bacteria produce too much butanol it reaches the toxicity limit and stops the production of butanol. In order to keep butanol from reaching the toxicity limit an adsorbent is used to remove the butanol without harming the bacteria. The adsorbent is a mesoporous carbon powder that allows the butanol to be adsorbed on it. This thesis explores different designs for a magnetic separation process to extract the carbon powder from the culture.

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2015-05

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Engineering High Yield Production of L-Serine in Cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002

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Cyanobacteria have the potential to efficiently produce L-serine, an industrially important amino acid, directly from CO2 and sunlight, which is a more sustainable and inexpensive source of energy as compared to current methods. The research aims to engineer a strain

Cyanobacteria have the potential to efficiently produce L-serine, an industrially important amino acid, directly from CO2 and sunlight, which is a more sustainable and inexpensive source of energy as compared to current methods. The research aims to engineer a strain of Cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002 that increases L-serine production by mutating regulatory mechanisms that natively inhibit its production and encoding an exporter. While an excess of L-serine was not found in the supernatant of the cell cultures, with further fine tuning of the metabolic pathway and culture conditions, high titers of L-serine can be found. With the base strain engineered, the work can be extended and optimized by deleting degradation pathways, tuning gene expression levels, optimizing growth conditions, and investigating the effects of nitrogen supplementation for the strain.

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2020-05

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Engineering a Co-Culture of Bacteria and Yeast for the Production of Renewable p-Coumaric Acid

Description

p-Coumaric acid is used in the food, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic industries due to its versatile properties. While prevalent in nature, harvesting the compound from natural sources is inefficient, requiring large quantities of producing crops and numerous extraction and purification steps.

p-Coumaric acid is used in the food, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic industries due to its versatile properties. While prevalent in nature, harvesting the compound from natural sources is inefficient, requiring large quantities of producing crops and numerous extraction and purification steps. Thus, the large-scale production of the compound is both difficult and costly. This research aims to produce p-coumarate directly from renewable and sustainable glucose using a co-culture of Yeast and E. Coli. Methods used in this study include: designing optimal media for mixed-species microbial growth, genetically engineering both strains to build the production pathway with maximum yield, and analyzing the presence of p-Coumarate and its pathway intermediates using High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). To date, the results of this project include successful integration of C4H activity into the yeast strain BY4741 ∆FDC1, yielding a strain that completely consumed trans-cinnamate (initial concentration of 50 mg/L) and produced ~56 mg/L p-coumarate, a resting cell assay of the co-culture that produced 0.23 mM p-coumarate from an initial L-Phenylalanine concentration of 1.14 mM, and toxicity tests that confirmed the toxicity of trans-cinnamate to yeast for concentrations above ~50 mg/L. The hope for this project is to create a feasible method for producing p-Coumarate sustainably.

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2016-12

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Role of uncertainty in streamlined life cycle assessment--exploring the case of petrochemical refineries and polymer manufacturing units

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Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is used in the chemical process sector to compare the environmental merits of different product or process alternatives. One of the tasks that involves much time and cost in LCA studies is the specification of the

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is used in the chemical process sector to compare the environmental merits of different product or process alternatives. One of the tasks that involves much time and cost in LCA studies is the specification of the exact materials and processes modeled which has limited its widespread application. To overcome this, researchers have recently created probabilistic underspecification as an LCA streamlining method, which uses a structured data classification system to enable an LCA modeler to specify materials and processes in a less precise manner. This study presents a statistical procedure to understand when streamlined LCA methods can be used, and what their impact on overall model uncertainty is. Petrochemicals and polymer product systems were chosen to examine the impacts of underspecification and mis-specification applied to LCA modeling. Ecoinvent database, extracted using GaBi software, was used for data pertaining to generic crude oil refining and polymer manufacturing modules. By assessing the variation in LCA results arising out of streamlined materials classification, the developed statistics estimate the amount of overall error incurred by underspecifying and mis-specifying material impact data in streamlined LCA. To test the impact of underspecification and mis-specification at the level of a product footprint, case studies of HDPE containers and aerosol air fresheners were conducted. Results indicate that the variation in LCA results decreases as the specificity of materials increases. For the product systems examined, results show that most of the variability in impact assessment is due to the differences in the regions from which the environmental impact datasets were collected; the lower levels of categorization of materials have relatively smaller influence on the variance. Analyses further signify that only certain environmental impact categories viz. global warming potential, freshwater eutrophication, freshwater ecotoxicity, human toxicity and terrestrial ecotoxicity are affected by geographic variations. Outcomes for the case studies point out that the error in the estimation of global warming potential increases as the specificity of a component of the product decreases. Fossil depletion impact estimates remain relatively robust to underspecification. Further, the results of LCA are much more sensitive to underspecification of materials and processes than mis-specification.

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2014