FDCAzymes – Lignocellulose based enzymes for the conversion of 5 hydroxymethylfurfural to 2,5 furanedicarboxylic acid

Development and piloting of fermentation, processing and enzyme catalytic processes using specially prepared substrates

 

2,5‑Furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) is a biobased alternative to petrochemically produced terephthalic acid, which is used in the production of PET and polyesters for the packaging and textile industries. The FDCAzymes project aims to develop tailor‑made enzymes for the conversion of 5‑hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) to FDCA, whereby the Fraunhofer CBP will supply the raw material (lignocellulose sugar and HMF) and is partner for process development and scale‑up.

 

2,5‑Furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) is a biobased alternative to petrochemically produced terephthalic acid, which is used in formation of e.g. polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polyesters for the packaging and textile industry, offering a huge market potential for this platform chemical. Biotechnologically, the transgenic bacterial strain Pseudomonas putida S12 for the conversion of 5‑hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) to FDCA has been investigated. However, this strain is classified in Germany as biosafety level 2, which means increased safety requirements for production and thus higher costs.

 

The project focuses on the targeted development of biological systems: to generate tailor‑made enzymes in non‑conventional and non‑pathogenic yeasts (Arxula adeninivorans and Hansenula polymorpha) which catalyze the reaction from HMF to FDCA, leading to an economic process due to efficient biotechnological conversion and the use of lignocelluloseic sugars as fermentation feedstock and unpurified HMF from synthesis of sugars as intermediate. The Fraunhofer CBP is responsible for the delivery of raw materials (lignocellulosic sugars and HMF) as well as the development and scale‑up of fermentation and catalysis processes.

Project information

Project title

FDCAzymes – Lignocellulose‑based enzymes for the conversion of 5‑hydroxymethylfurfural to 2,5‑furanedicarboxylic acid

 

Project duration

June 2017 – May 2020

 

Project partners

  • ASA Spezialenzyme GmbH (ASA), Wolfenbüttel, Germany (Coordination)
  • Fraunhofer Center for Chemical-Biotechnological Processes CBP, Leuna, Germany
  • Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung (IPK), Gatersleben, Germany (Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research

Funding

We would like to thank the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the project executing organization Jülich (PTJ)  for funding the project “FDCAzymes“, promotional reference n° 031B0355C; online n°100309007