Download Full Text (14.5 MB)


hnology and the academic and industrial partnership needed to transition from the current petroleumbased chemical industry to a renewable carbon-based industry. The commodity chemical industry that is the focus of the center is critically important to many aspects of society. Yet the current industry, which produces greater than 300 billion lbs/year of product in the U.S., is intrinsically unsustainable due to the non-renewable nature of its feedstock. CBiRC will provide a novel environment for the research, training and education of a new cadre of engineers and scientists that, in turn, will generate a new paradigm for optimizing the transition to a biorenewable chemical industry. The unique focus of CBiRC will be exploiting the integration of biocatalytic and chemical catalytic technologies to efficiently produce biorenewable chemicals. CBiRC will develop a new paradigm for producing biorenewable platform chemicals based upon the combinatorial metabolic processes of the polyketide/fatty acid biosynthetic pathway. Key biocatalysts from this pathway will be incorporated into microbial host systems to produce a range of polyketide/fatty acid-based platform chemicals. These platform chemicals will then be converted to final chemical products using chemical catalysts specifically designed for their selective conversion. By integrating biocatalysis and chemical catalysis, CBiRC will create a consolidated technological framework that can be used to produce a broad array of biorenewable chemicals such as dienes, α-olefins and diacids. CBiRC brings together biocatalyst and chemical catalyst researchers with extensive experience in converting biobased feedstocks and connects them with the industrial/ innovation partners from the petrochemical, agricultural processing, chemical catalysis, biocatalysis, process licensor, and industrial chemical utilization commercial sectors for successful technology translation.

Publication Date:



NSF Engineering Research Center for Biorenewable Chemicals


Ames, IA


Bioresource and Agricultural Engineering | Chemical Engineering

NSF Engineering Research Center for Biorenewable Chemicals, Third Year Renewal Proposal, Volume I