Prof. Dr. Wout Boerjan, Bioenergy and Bio-aromatics Group, VIB Center for Plant Systems Biology, Ghent University, Belgium
17th October 2019, 13:00 h
Forschungszentrum Jülich, IBG-2, Raum 406
If you do not have regular access to the FZJ campus, please register not later than 10th October , 2019 via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Climate change and the depletion of fossil resources have urged the transition from a fossil-based to a biobased society. In the bio-economy, lignocellulosic plant biomass can be converted into fermentable sugars. However, for the production of fermentable sugars from biomass, lignin, an aromatic heteropolymer, needs to be extracted from the biomass by costly pretreatments. Engineering the amount and structure of lignin is an attractive strategy to improve the efficiency of biomass processing. We use Arabidopsis thaliana as a model to discover new genes of the lignin biosynthesis pathway and to study the effects of their altered expression on lignin structure and saccharification efficiency. For example, by downregulating the gene encoding CAFFEOYL SHIKIMATE ESTERASE, a 4-fold increase in saccharification efficiency was achieved. By expression of genes derived from turmeric in Arabidopsis, we have been able to produce plants that incorporate curcumin in the lignin polymer, resulting in improved breakdown of the lignin polymer in alkali. Genes that provide promising improvements in biomass processing upon their altered expression in this model system are then taken further for translational research in poplar and maize. Field trials have been established with GM poplar with modified lignin. These trials, established for a period of 8 years, show that field trials are an essential step in the translation of research towards applications.
Dr. Cristiane S. Farinas, Embrapa Instrumentacao, Sao Carlos, SP, Brazil
11th September 2019, 14:00 h
Forschungszentrum Jülich, IBG-2, Raum 406
Dr. Christiane S. Farinas of the Brazilian State Agricultural Research Institute Embrapa first presented works on the enzymatic digestion of biomass. Two major problems are the adsorption of enzymes to lignin and their inhibition by phenolic compounds. Dr. Farinas' research group has been able to minimise the former by adding soy protein, which remains after oil pressing, and the latter by adding ash from sugar cane bagasse as adsorbent. With these cost-effective processes, the sugar yield could be doubled.
The second part of the lecture dealt with nanocellulose. In recent years, the crystalline part of cellulose, which is produced during the digestion of biomass, has increasingly been used as a material for various applications, such as screens, solar panels, plastic furniture and edible packaging. Dr. Farinas presented a process for the integrated production of sugars and nanocellulose from eucalyptus.
Finally, she presented works on the improved solubilization of phosphate from phosphate rock using Aspergillus niger. A new application for fertilization is the use of a nanocomposite of starch, ground phosphate rock and A. niger, from which phosphate is released over a longer period of time. The nanocomposite can also be loaded with sulphur and mineral oxides and leads to comparable results with commercial fertilizers in plant growth. All the works shown were impressive examples of the possibilities of bioeconomy.
Prof. Dr. ir. Erik Meers, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering and Department of Green Chemistry & Technology, Ghent University
11th June 2019, 10:00 h
Forschungszentrum Jülich, Raum 406
Prof. Dr. Erik Meers from the University of Ghent presented three European clusters working at different levels to make the transition from linear to circular value creation possible. In particular, he addressed the nitrogen cycle and the use and recovery of nitrogen in agriculture.
The BioRefine Cluster Europe, founded in 2013, networks 21 research projects working on the valorisation of residual flows from agriculture, the agro- and food industry as well as biological waste and waste water. The common goal is that residual and waste flows will no longer pollute the environment but be used as secondary resources. The cluster supports the implementation of the results in practice. Furthermore, the University of Ghent has founded the business development platform "End-of-waste" to initiate collaborations between academia and industry, as well as the scientific network INFINITY, which, for example, offers training modules for doctoral students on the subject of nutrient recycling.
Erik Meers focused in particular on the problem of the shifted global nitrogen cycle. Since the middle of the 20th century, both the use of mineral fertilizers and the combustion of fossil fuels have risen sharply. Both of these factors cause nitrate to be increasingly introduced into the soil and to accumulate through leaching in groundwater, inland waters and finally in the sea, where algae carpets are formed and oxygen deficiency results. He presented some projects from the Biorefine Cluster that address this problem. The SYSTEMIC project is developing new biorefinery systems that make it possible not only to produce biogas from liquid manure, sewage sludge and food residues, but also to recover phosphate and nitrate from the fermentation residues. In the ALG-AD project, fermentation residues from biogas plants are used as a substrate for algae that produce proteins and lipids that can be used for animal feed, for example. The Nutri2Cycle project investigates nitrogen, phosphorus and carbon fluxes and the associated environmental problems in farms throughout Europe that use various farming techniques in order to derive recommendations on how nutrient cycles can be closed more efficiently in the future.
Prof. Dr. Thomas Brück, Department of Chemistry and Director of the TUM Algae Tec Centre, Technical University of Munich
13th March 2019, 9:30 h
Forschungszentrum Jülich, Raum 406
Prof. Dr. Thomas Brück, holder of the Werner Siemens Chair for synthetic biotechnology and director of the AlgaeTec Center at the Technical University of Munich, presented different bioprocesses for fixation, valorization and storage of CO2.
Prof. Brück began by naming urgent global challenges, especially the effects of climate change, that are already noticeable today. In his view, measures to combat climate change have been inadequate largely because economic motivation is too low. He emphasized that scientific questions must lead to economic opportunities. He therefore presented some successful examples from his research.
Many high-quality chemicals and materials are produced on the basis of lipids. Microalgae and yeasts can produce large quantities of lipids without competing with food production and without causing land-use changes, as is the case for palm oil or even rapeseed oil, for example. Prof. Brück presented a patented process in which specific yeasts are co-fermented with hydrolyzed biomass from agricultural residue flows and acetate produced from CO2 and electrolytically obtained hydrogen. As a result of this co-fermentation, yeasts can grow to a high density and produce large quantities of lipids. Water and biomass from the fermentation process are completely recycled and specialized enzymatic hydrolysis of the yeast cells allows a solvent-free lipid extraction. The price of the oil obtained in this way corresponds to the price of eco-certified palm oil and is thus competitive. In terms of life cycle analysis, the oil is within the range of plant oils.
The products to which lipids are processed range from plastics to lubricants and biodiesel up to carbon fibers. Today, the latter are mainly used in automobile production, but they are also suitable for construction elements in buildings or bridges, for example. This represents a highly effective opportunity to fight climate change, explained Prof. Brück. If lipids are produced in algae on a large scale, used in the construction sector and, after use, are ultimately stored in empty coal seams instead of burning them as it is done today, significant quantities of CO2 could be permanently withdrawn from the atmosphere. This approach is deemed globally relevant in the current world climate report and Prof. Brück received an award for this work at the UN World Climate Conference 2018 in Kattowitz.
In addition, Prof. Brück presented two other biosyntheses established in his working group. For the production of the biodegradable plastic polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) made of wheat bran, the Dahms synthetic pathway from Pseudomonas was introduced into Ralstonia in order to make the xylose in bran available. Ralstonia produces the monomer 3-hydroxybutyric acid that is subsequently polymerized to PHB using a cell-free enzyme cascade. The biodegradable insect repellant cembratrienol can also be produced from wheat bran by a metabolically engineered E.coli strain, which creates new possibilities for plant protection. All examples demonstrated impressive possibilities for establishing a sustainable bioeconomy.
28th of September 2017, 1:30 am
Prof. Sang Yup Lee, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Republic of Korea
Prof. Frances H. Arnold from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), USA
On 28th September the 19th BioSC Lecture with two internationally renowned scientists took place in the frame of the Jülich Biotec Day. Prof. Sang Yup Lee, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Republic of Korea, reported on current trends in systems metabolic engineering for the bio-based production of chemicals. Several production methods could already be established which are now applied in the sectors of health and nutrition (e.g. bacterial production of plant secondary metabolites), energy (fuel production in E. coli) as well as chemistry where recently a nylon-precursor was produced in bacteria which could only be synthesized chemically before. With the so-called „in silico genome-scale metabolic model“ multigenic bacterial strains for various products can be optimized within one week.
In the second lecture, Prof. Francis H. Arnold, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), USA, gave insight to “Innovation by evolution: Bringing new chemistry to life”. Fascinated by evolution, Prof. Arnold has been working for many years on enzyme evolution by means of protein design methods. These methods play an important role in bioeconomy where chemical synthesis pathways are supposed to be replaced by biotechnological ones in favour of the environment. As an example for the natural potential of substrate adaptation she presented the case of Atrazin. This herbicide was considered as non-degradable and it accumulated in soils until, in 1993, a fast enzymatic degradation pathway was discovered. Similarly, the bacterial degradation of plastics can be explained by evolutionary adaptation of the metabolism and its enzymes. Prof. Arnold makes use of this potential by accelerating marginal enzyme activities for desired activities or by creating, selecting and optimizing new activities. The targeted evolution of enzymes holds a manifold potential for the chemical, pharmaceutical, paper, leather and textile industry.
4th of August 2017, 11:30 am
Dr. Jakob Ley, Director for research and technology at Symrise AG, Holzminden, Germany
On 4th August 2017 the BioSC Lecture "Inspired by nature - Development of sustainable flavour modifiers" was given by Dr Jakob Ley, Director of Research and Technology at Symrise AG, at Forschungszentrum Jülich. Almost 50 interested participants listened to the talk on his interdisciplinary work on the development and modulation of aromas and flavour components. An intensive discussion on the topic took place after the lecture.
The history of research on and with flavours started before 1900, when the first biotechnological processes were used for flavour optimization for beer brewing and bread baking. The first flavour used by industry was vanillin in the 1950s. Since then there has been a continuous and rapid development with regard to various tastes and production methods. In this way, the term "flavour" is not clearly defined for laypersons. A "flavour" does not have to be of natural origin but it could be chemically synthesized. This explains the high price differences e.g. for vanilla aromas. The price for the natural aroma from the vanilla bean is several times higher than that for the chemically synthesized flavour. Currently 250 - 300 new components for flavouring are tested per year, whereby the analyses for approval are similar to pharmaceutical tests, but are somewhat faster and cheaper. In the modern flavour industry, 60% of raw materials are made from natural substances such as plants, animals or bacteria, 30% from crude oil and 10% from other sources. Research and development on and with flavouring substances is a big market with large potential where Symrise works together with many industrial and research partners.
The lecture of Dr. Ley can be downloaded from our Intranet.
12th of May 2017, 1 pm
Dr. Andreas Kleinschmit von Lengefeld, Director for research and innovation, FCBA (French Institute of Technology for forest-based and furniture sectors), Champs-sur-Marne, France
The BioSC lecture on "The forest- and plant-based bioeconomy-opportunities for cooperation" was given on the 12th of May at Forschungszentrum Jülich by Dr. Andreas Kleinschmit von Lengefeld (French Institute of Technology for forest-based and furniture sectors), Champs-sur-Marne, France. 30 participants heard an interesting talk with an intensive discussion. The presentation will come soon at the download area at the BioSC intranet.
Das französische, technische Institut FCBA, und seine Rolle in der forst-basierten Bioökonomie
Die Rolle des forst-basierten Sektors in der französischen Bio-Ökonomie nimmt stetig zu. Frankreich hat die viertgrößte Waldfläche in Europa, nach Schweden, Finnland und Spanien.
Seit der Gebietsreform 2016 ist die neue Region Aquitanien die Nummer eins in Europa für Wertschöpfung im forst-basierten Sektor. Die gesamte Waldfläche der Bundesrepublik Deutschland entspricht der Laubholzfläche in französischen Wäldern (>10 Mio ha). Zur Zeit werden von der französischen Politik, welche diesen Sektor als Zukunftsweisend in die Gruppe der 16 wichtigsten Industrien Frankreichs aufnahm, Programme für Forschung und Innovationen lanciert.
Priorisierte Themen, welche von allen wichtigen Akteuren des französischen forst-basierten Sektors gemeinsam entwickelt wurden, zeigen die Zukunft auf. Das technologische Institut FCBA (Forêt, Cellulose, Construction Bois, Ameublement) ist mit seiner Vielseitigkeit im Forschungs- und Entwicklungsbereich in Europa einzigartig. Es ist der einzige Akteur, welcher bei der biotechnologischen Verbesserung der forstlichen Biomasseproduktion beginnt. Von der Nano-bis zur Makrostruktur arbeitet, sowie die Sozio-ökonomischen und Umweltaspekte in seinen Aktivitäten einbindet. Der Kern der Forschungs-, Innovationsaktivitäten beginnen bei TRL 5 bis TRL9. Die verschiedenen Forschungsthemen und Disziplinen des FCBA werden vorgestellt, sowie Möglichkeiten für eventuell gemeinsame Forschungsvorhaben eruiert.
15th of March 2017
Dr. Léon Broers, member of management at KWS SAAT SE, Einbeck and member of the German Bioeconomy Council
The BioSC Lecture „The role of plant breeding in bioeconomy” attracted many people to participate on the 15th of March at Forschungszentrum Jülich.
The demand for bio-based raw materials will significantly increase. At the same time, we are facing a range of environmental challenges like climate change accompanied with more increasingly frequent extreme weather events, and the shortage of basic resources. Plant breeding is able to address these challenges by providing varieties that have higher and stable yields, better adaptability to different growth and environmental conditions as well as reduced requirements for resources. Thus, plant breeding plays a key role in a Bioeconomy that aims to achieve efficient and resource-friendly production and use of biological resources by taking into account societal perceptions of demand.
The presentation is accessible in our intranet.
19th of December 2016
Bio-based economic transformation is a potential pathway towards sustainable development including many of the Agenda 2030 SDG. And yet, the conditions under which a growing bioeconomy can help to achieve sustainable development goals are not well understood. This presentation discusses elements and early results of an interdisciplinary research program aimed at developing appropriate multi-scale governance frameworks for sustainable bioeconomic development. We focus on two key drivers of bioeconomic growth: (1) Policies and measures that promote or regulate the use of bio-based food, feed, fuel, and fiber; and (2) technological innovation in biomass producing and processing sectors. Quantitative empirical tools from economics, environmental geography, and biology are key to understanding how these drivers lead to positive or negative socio-economic and environmental outcomes at local scales.
1st of December 2016, 4:00pm
University of Bonn
Dr. Markus Schorling, University of Hamburg, biotechnology, society and environment (FSP BIOGUM)
Dr. Schorling ist seit 2009 am Forschungsschwerpunkt Biotechnik, Gesellschaft und Umwelt (BIOGUM) der Universität Hamburg tätig. In seinen Forschungsvorhaben verbindet er die Biomasseforschung und Biotechnologie mit aktuellen gesellschaftlichen Fragestellung. Er ist bzw. war unter anderem beteiligt an Forschungsprojekten "BioEnergie 2021 - Forschung für die Nutzung von Biomasse", "Biotechnologie - Chancen nutzen und gestalten", „Potentiale der Gentechnik bei Energiepflanzen“ oder "Grundlagenforschung Energie 2020+". In seinem Vortrag wird er die möglichen Nutzungspotenziale von Nachwachsenden Rohstoffen und insbesondere deren ökosystemaren Dienstleitungen im gesellschaftlichen Kontext darstellen.
16th of December 2016, 2:30 pm
Dr. Jens Erik Nielsen, Director, HTS and Design, Novozymes A/S
The talk by Dr. Nielsen provided insights into the challenges of enzyme design for washing powder in the context of a sustainable bioeconomy. While washing at low temperatures is better for the environment, surveys showed that consumers doubt that washing at cold temperatures is efficient. Storage conditions at industry scale and for household application have to be taken into account for enzyme design.
Enzymes are among the most efficient and specific catalysts known, and are applied widely in industrial processes and household applications. However, enzymes are by nature meta-stable compounds that have to occupy an ordered folded state to be catalytically active. The successful application and competitiveness of enzymes therefore depends on the extent to which enzymes are able to maintain this folded conformation in the industrial/household application and under storage conditions. Jens Nielsen, who has 25 years of research experience in protein analysis and design, discussed different strategies for stabilizing enzymes and highlight current research at Novozymes at producing enzymes that are stable against a number of harsh conditions.
1st of June 2016, 4:00 pm
Dr. Nicole Schönleber, CEO, Food Security Center, University of Hohenheim
The seminar provided an overview of the research and educational objectives of the Food Security Center in the context of (global) strategies on bioeconomy. Food Security is one of the major objectives of bioeconomy. The FSC mission is to provide innovative and effective scientific contributions to reduce hunger and achieve food security, contributing towards the SDG 1 and 2, especially towards the eradication of hunger and malnutrition. Achieving this mission requires careful analysis and science-supported identification of effective and efficient policy, technical and institutional responses, including impact assessment. The Food Security Center utilizes a multidisciplinary approach through teaching, conducting research and providing policy advice in cooperation with national and international development organizations and partner Higher Education Institutes in the developing world. Research topics include biomass and food availability, food access, biomass and food use, food quality and safety, giving particular concern to gender equality and sustainability of agricultural production..
19th of January 2016
Keilor Rojas, PhD, former Vice minister in the Ministry of Science, Technology and Telecommunications of Costa Rica, currently Universidad Latina de Costa Rica and Biotech Entrepreneur (https://www.linkedin.com/in/keilor-rojas-28b6571a )
The seminar will provide a broad overview of the academic and research sector in Costa Rica (especially in bioeconomy) and show possibilities of interaction with national institutions in more specific fields such as biodiversity, environment, biotechnology and forestry.
27th of November 2015
Dr. Sakarindr Bhumiratana, President of King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi, Bangkok
Prof. Morakot Tanticharoen, National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), Thailand
Dr. Sakarindr Bhumiratana is currently President of King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT). He was appointed the Executive Director of the National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in 1991, where he served for a period of ten years before returning as Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at KMUTT from 2000-2004. He was then appointed as President of the National Science
and Technology Development Agency, where he served until 2010. Dr. Sakarindr has just been recognized as Distinguished Fellow of the Petroleum Institute of Thailand, 2012. He was a recipient of the ASEAN Meritorious Service Award in 2005 and was accepted as a Fellow of the International Academy of Food
Science and Technology in 2006. He is currently a member of the National Economic and Social Development Board, the Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Agency, the National Science and Technology Development Board, as well as various other university councils.
Dr. Sakarindr has a keen interest in applying technology and innovation to improve the quality of life of rural communities and is active in many projects in this area. His research interests extend to systems biology, industrial biogas development and transport phenomena of food and biological materials. He has published extensively on both technical and policy issues affecting higher education and research.
Professor Morakot is a leading researcher in Thailand in the field of microbiology
and biotechnology. Her specialty includes research and development of an anaerobic wastewater treatment for biogas production and algal technology research, and she is also a pioneer in biosensor research in Thailand. She is also well recognized for her involvement at the regional and international level, being an active member and working on the executive of several societies and organizations, as well as serving on
the editorial board of a number of noted international journals. Morakot was BIOTEC Director from 2000 –
2008. During her directorship, she also served as Chairman of the ASEAN Sub-Committee on Biotechnology (SCB), from 2005-2008.
At present, Morakot is the chairman of NSTDA’s Agricultural and Food Cluster and the senior advisor to NSTDA President. She also serves as the Professor Emeritus at the School of Bioresources and Technology, KMUTT
30th Of June 2016
University of Bonn
Prof. Dr. L. Martin Cloutier, Department of Management and Technology, School of Management, University of Quebec at Montreal, Canada
The seminar presentation was splited into two parts. The first part presented a landscape overview of the bioeconomy sector in Canada. The second part reported on preliminary results of the research project conducted at the U. of Bonn on the drivers of the emerging value chains in the bioeconomy using a participatory group concept mapping, a mixed-methods approach. Early findings will indicate the main concepts at play uncovered by the group of participants, measures of consensus, highlight value-creating and feasibility ranking of identified drivers.
Prof. Dr. Martin Cloutier, is a professor in the Department of Management and Technology, School of Management, University of Quebec at Montreal (Canada). He is specializing his research program on group decision making in many contexts using mixed methods and design science research methods; including value chain coordination and modeling in the bioeconomy, and agriculture and food processing. His recent work has also included the identification of initiatives to be undertaken collectively by stakeholders to develop the distribution of health enhancing foods in Canada.
16th of June 2015
University of Bonn
Dr. Peter Welters, Manager Phytowelt GreenTechnologies GmbH, Nettetal, Germany
9th of June 2015
University of Bonn
Dr. Markus Grube, KWG Rechtsanwälte, Gummersbach, Germany
14th of March 2015
Prof. Dr. Claus Felby, Biomass and Bioenergy, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
During the last decade the development in enzyme technology has advanced the processing of lignocellulosic biomass to fermentable C6 and C5 sugars. However, biomass is not just carbohydrate polymers, and by studying the whole system of the cell wall matrix, enzyme protein and water; new insights into the mechanisms of biomass deconstruction has been obtained.
Application of this knowledge at the large scale could preferably be implemented in existing infrastructures of agriculture and forestry. An example is the Danish +10 mio tons study which shows how existing agriculture and forestry can be adapted to a higher biomass production without compromising environmental issues or biodiversity.
Prof. Dr. Claus Felby graduated in Forestry and received his PhD in 1997 in Wood technology at the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University in Denmark. Since 20 years he has worked with biomass and biotechnology within both private industry and academia. Following his PhD, Prof. Dr. Claus Felby worked as a research chemist in the biotech industry before returning to academia in 2001. Currently he is heading the Biomass for the 21st Century research platform on advanced biorefinery technologies funded by the Danish Advanced Technology Foundation. Prof. Claus Felby received the Bayer Crop Science Innovation award (2007) as well as the Faculty of Science Innovation award (2014) by the University of Copenhagen.
13th of November 2014
University of Bonn
Prof. Wulf Diepenbrock, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany
11th of July 2014
Prof. Kurt Wagemann, Dechema e.V., Germany
Bioeconomy is a must - definitely in the long term!
But what about the short and medium term production of chemicals and polymers? Is there a more or less continuous shift away from coal to petroleum (up to now), to renewable, plant-based raw materials? Which role will natural gas and coal play in the nearer future?
The lecture will address several effects of cheap shale gas exploited via fracking: Decreasing prices for methane and ethylene and expectations on increasing prices for C3-, C4-, C5-base chemicals and aromatics.
In the end there is not just one answer; answers will have to be differentiated depending on the desired functionality of the molecule as well as the behaviour of end producers, retailers and consumers.
7th of January 2014
Dr. Ludo Diels, VITO and Professor at Antwerp University, Belgium
13th of November 2013
Michael Carus, Nova-Institute, Hürth, Germany
28th of June 2013
Prof. Mankombu Swaminathan, Chair of Ecotechnology at UNESCO
Prof. Joachim von Braun, Director at Center of Development Research, University Bonn, Germany