Biorefinery allows the production of a virtually unlimited number of valuable products ranging from low-volume high-value molecules (e.g. as antibiotics, nutraceuticals, molecules of pharmaceutical interest, vitamins, enzymes) to low-value bulk chemicals (e.g. solvents, organic acids, alcohol fuels) by microbial fermentation.
Our current projects intend to convert biomasses to molecules of industrial interest such as: building blocks and bioplastics (e.g., polylactides); natural or engineered enzymes (lipases, catechol 1,2-dioxygenase); biosurfactants (for application in hydrocarbon pollutant bioremediation, cosmetics, food industry); industrial thickeners (EPS); molecules of food and nutraceutical interest (e.g. GABA, Se-metabolites, bacteriocins, exopolysaccharides, bioactive peptides).
The experimental strategy includes:
1) Selected natural microorganisms or genetically engineered strains (e.g. lactic acid bacteria and clostridia) able to efficiently produce industrially relevant compounds through bioconversion of low-cost biomass.
2) Optimization of fermentation parameters (physic-chemical and nutritional parameters, co-cultures) aimed at improving process efficiency (yield, final titer, productivity).
3) Proteomics strategies aimed at identifying molecular key nodes of microbial metabolism and thus supporting implementation of metabolic engineering and/or fermentation strategies.
2012-2015-Thanaplast: industrial research supported by the private company CARBIOS S.A. (Biopôle Clermont-Limagne, France) and aimed at production of high amounts of optically pure lactic acid (to be used in the synthesis of polylactides) through fermentation of cellulosic biomass.