Bioprocessing, Recovery, and Mass Balance of Vegetative Lipids from Metabolically Engineered ‘Oilcane’ Demonstrates Its Potential as an Alternative Feedstock for Drop-In Fuel Production
Themes: Conversion, Feedstock Production
Keywords: Feedstock Bioprocessing, Lipidomics, Metabolomics
Maitra, S., Viswanathan, M.B., Park, K., Kannan, B., Alfanar, S.C., McCoy, S.M., Cahoon, E.B., Altpeter, F., Leakey, A.D.B., Singh, V. Dec. 8, 2022. “Bioprocessing, Recovery, and Mass Balance of Vegetative Lipids from Metabolically Engineered ‘Oilcane’ Demonstrates Its Potential as an Alternative Feedstock for Drop-In Fuel Production.” ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering. DOI: 10.1021/acssuschemeng.2c05327.
Plant oils are increasingly in demand as renewable feedstocks for biodiesel and biochemicals. Currently, oilseeds are the primary source of plant oils. Although the vegetative tissues of plants express lipid metabolism pathways, they do not hyper-accumulate lipids. Elevated synthesis, storage, and accumulation of lipids in vegetative tissues have been achieved by metabolic engineering of sugarcane to produce “oilcane.” This study evaluates the potential of oilcane as a renewable feedstock for the co-production of lipids and fermentable sugars. Oilcane was grown under favorable climatic and field conditions in Florida (FLOC) as well as during an abbreviated growing season, outside its typical growing region, in Illinois (ILOC). The potential lipid yield of 0.35 tons/ha was projected from the hyperaccumulation of fatty acids in the stored vegetative biomass of FLOC, which is approaching the lipid yield of soybean (0.44 tons/ha). Processing of the vegetative tissues of oilcane recovered 0.20 tons/ha, which represents the recovery of 55% of the total lipids from FLOC. Chemical-free hydrothermal bioprocessing of ILOC and FLOC bagasse and leaves at 180 °C for 10 min prevented the degeneration of in situ plant lipids. This allowed the recovery of lipids at the end of the bioprocess with a major fraction of lipids remaining in the biomass residues after pretreatment and saccharification. Improvements through refined biomass processing, crop management, and metabolic engineering are expected to boost lipid yields and make oilcane a prime feedstock for the production of biodiesel.
- Total lipids/lipid recovery
- Total fatty acid and TAG compositions