This book is intended to give readers an appreciation of what the future holds, as cutting-edge technologies in synthetic biology and pathway engineering and advanced bioprocessing development pave the way for providing goods and services to benefit humankind that are based on the synergy of two biomasses - i.e. of what a renewable feedstock could yield and an infinite microbial biomass could provide in terms of enzymes and biocatalysts. This 13-chapter book, with an introductory treatise on the guiding principles of green chemistry and engineering metrics, brings together a broad range of research and innovation agendas and perspectives from industries, academia and government laboratories using renewable feedstocks that include macroalgae and lignins. In addition, social-economic aspects and the pillars of competitiveness in regional cluster development are explored as we transition from fossil-fuel-based economies to a circular bioeconomy, with chemurgy and green chemistry being implicit to the innovation movement.
The bulk of the book covers specific applications including the bioproduction of amino sugars, dicarboxylic acids, omega-3 fatty acids, starch and fermentable sugars from lignocellulosic materials, and phenolics as building blocks for polymer synthesis. Enzymatic systems for accessing chiral and special-purpose chemicals, as well as the development of specialized enzymes from macroalgae for biofuel and biochemical production are also addressed. Research gaps, hurdles to overcome in various biological processes, and present achievements in the production of biofuels and biochemicals from lignocellulosic materials are discussed.
Going beyond the conventional expectation of discussing the production of drop-in chemicals, the book instead emphasizes how the potential of new chemicals and materials can be harnessed through innovative thinking and research. As such, it provides an invaluable reference source for researchers and graduate students interested in Chemurgy and Green Chemistry, as well as for practitioners in the field of industrial biotechnology and biobased industry.
Peter C.K. Lau is a Distinguished Professor at Tianjin Institute of Industrial Biotechnology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and an Adjunct Professor at the Departments of Chemistry and Microbiology & Immunology, McGill University, Canada.
About the Author
After 31 years of service Dr. Peter C.K. Lau retired from the National Research Council of Canada (CNRC) having served as a Principal Research Officer and Group Head of Bioconversion and Sustainable Development at the Montreal facility, formerly known as the Biotechnology Research Institute. As an ad hoc member of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Task Force on Biotechnology for Sustainable Industrial Development, in 1999 he contributed a key outreach article in American Society for Microbiology (ASM) News magazine on Industrial Sustainability through Biotechnology. Dr. Lau is presently a Distinguished Professor of the Talents Program for Foreign Experts of the Tianjin government. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the McGill University, Departments of Chemistry and Microbiology & Immunology, and a collaborating researcher of the FRQNT Center of Green Chemistry and Catalysis at McGill University. In 2011, he was a Visiting Professor of Kansai University, Osaka, Japan, as well as a Visiting Professor for Senior International Scientists of the Chinese Academy of Sciences at Tianjin Institute of Industrial Biotechnology. Dr. Lau is an editorial board member of Applied and Environmental Microbiology and Journal of Microbiological Methods. Among other national and international committees or working groups, he served as a scientific committee member of the Biorefining Conversions Network of the University of Alberta until recently. Dr. Lau’s general research interests encompass microorganisms and biocatalysts as environmental and sustainability tools, microbial genomics, and development of a strong knowledge base for the advancement of pollution control technology, green chemistry bioprocess, and applications in sustainable development. Dr. Lau received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry (steroid metabolism) from the University of Ottawa in 1980. He did a postdoctoral training at Queen's University (Kingston, Ontario) where he learned the ropes of molecular biology and became the first Canadian doing M13 DNA sequencing that ushered him into a lifelong career at the CNRC.