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All Patents

The Laboratory of Renewable Resources Engineering has systematically pursued patents in technology that may be of industrial utility and interest. Patents are in the areas of cellulose pretreatment and hydrolysis, recombinant yeast, protein biochip sensing techniques for pathogen detection, and bioseparations. Further information regarding these patents and other technologies for which disclosures have been filed may be obtained through Purdue's Office of Technology Commercialization. Inquiries on technology available for licensing should be directed to Mr. Abhijit Karve, 765-588-3487, akarve@purdue.edu.

If you are interested in viewing more information about each patent, we have included links to the patent website for each country in which we have filed a patent. The links are at the bottom of the page.

"Biomass Liquefaction Processes, and Uses of Same," (US 9,359,619) (June 7, 2016).

Described are processes for the liquefaction of lignocellulosic biomass under the digestive action of dicarboxylic acid(s). Such digests can exhibit enhanced flowability, reduced volume, and significant biomass conversion to dissolved compnents, and can in some embodiments be further liquefied by contact with an enzyme. Products resultant of these steps can be used for their sugar content to manufacture biofuels or other products.

"Methods and Systems Useful for Drying Ethanol" (US 9,221,733) (December 29, 2015).
Co-Inventors: M. Ladisch, Y. Kim, N. Mosier, R. Hendrickson, A. Hilaly

Mixtures of ethanol and water are dehydrated using starch pearls to adsorb and remove water. Vapor-phase adsorption equilibrium capacities of cassava starch pellets (tapioca pearls) having different particle sizes are disclosed, and tapioca pearl particles are shown to be surprisingly more effective for dehydration 88 to 97% w/w feed ethanol than corn grits. The adsorption equilibrium curve and BET surface area measurement show that the adsorption capacity of tapioca pearls is a function of surface area available to water molecules. SEM images demonstrate that the particle architecture required for the adsorption and dehydration properties is that of a core-shell configuration with pre-gel starch acting as a central scaffold holding together other particles to the outer layer of the particle. The outer surface area of the pearls, populated with dry starch granules, is the main factor determining the adsorption capacity of the pearls. Tapioca pearls are shown to possess a surprisingly higher adsorption capacity than corn grits of the same particle size. Pearls of 2 mm size in diameter gave 34% higher linear adsorption equilibrium constant (K) than grits of 1.7 mm.

"Methods for Increasing the Yield of Fermentable Sugars from Plant Stover" (US 8,921,648) (December 30, 2014).
Co-Inventors: W. Vermerris, M. R. Ladisch and N. Mosier

Methods for increasing yield of fermentable sugars from plant stover are provided. The methods include using plants homozygous for two brown midrib mutations, bm1 and bm3. The methods also include using plants homozygous for a mutation in a gene that results in reduced cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase activity, and a mutation in a gene that results in reduced 5-hydroxyconiferaldehyde/5-hydroxyconiferyl alcohol O-methyltransferase activity. The methods also include using transgenic plants that have reduced cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase activity and reduced 5-hydroxyconiferaldehyde/5-hydroxyconiferyl alcohol O-methyltransferase activity in comparison with wild-type plants.

"Process for Preparing Enriched Glucan Biomass Materials" (US 8,790,904) (July 29, 2014).
Co-Inventors: N. Mosier, N. R. Ladisch, B. Stater, and B. Spindler

The disclosure describes a process for the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to ethanol utilizing a dicarboxylic acid such as maleic acid as an enzyme mimic to hydrolyze the hemicellulose and cellulose of the biomass. Controlling the condition of the maleic acid hydrolysis can selectively hydrolyze the hemicellulose giving as a result a liquid portion rich in xylose and a solid portion rich in glucan. The glucan can be further hydrolyzed to produce a glucose containing material. The sugar materials can be fermented to produce ethanol which is recovered. The dicarboxylic acid is then recovered from the residue left after the ethanol is removed from the fermentation material, and the recovered dicarboxylic acid is recycled to the beginning of the process to treat additional lignocellulosic biomass.

"Methods for Increasing the Yield of Fermentable Sugars from Plant Stover" (US 7,968,764) (June 28, 2011)
Co-Inventors: W. Vermerris, M. R. Ladisch, and N. S. Mosier

Methods for increasing yield of fermentable sugars from plant stover are provided. The methods include using plants homozygous for two brown midrib mutations, bm1 and bm3. The methods also include using plants homozygous for a mutation in a gene that results in reduced cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase activity, and a mutation in a gene that results in reduced 5-hydroxyconiferaldehyde/5-hydroxyconiferyl alcohol O-methyltransferase activity. The methods also include using transgenic plants that have reduced cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase activity and reduced 5-hydroxyconiferaldehyde/5-hydroxyconiferyl alcohol O-methyltransferase activity in comparison with wild-type plants.

"Heat Recovery from a Biomass Heat Source" (US 7,566,383) (July 28, 2009)
Co-Inventors: R. Everett, J. Weiland, N. Mosier, M. Ladisch and G. Welch

A method and system for recovering heat from a pretreated hot biomass stream is described. The method and system for heat recovery includes a flash cooler connected to a direct contact condenser. A liquid portion of the hot biomass stream flashes into vapors upon the hot biomass stream entering the flash cooler. The flashed vapors are transferred to the direct contact condenser. The flashed vapors and an incoming cold biomass stream subsequently come into contact with each other in the direct contact condenser, thereby causing heat to be transferred from the hot biomass stream to the cold biomass stream. As the heat transfer occurs, the flashed vapors condense onto the surface of the cold biomass.

"Cell Concentration and Pathogen Recovery" (US 7,547,526) (June 16, 2009).
Co-Inventors: M. R. Ladisch, X. Liu, A. C. Stewart, W. T. Chen, N. S. Mosier, T. Huang, J. Bwatwa, and R. Hendrickson

Methods and kits for the isolation of organisms. Such methods and kits are particularly useful for concentrating and recovering viable organisms from food material. The recovered organisms are of sufficient number and purity to allow detection using a biochip device.

"Biosensor and Related Method" (US 7,306,924 B2) (December 11, 2007)
Co-Inventors: R. Gomez, R. Bashir, A. K. Bhunia, M. R. Ladisch, J. P. Robinson

A method for collecting a microbiological substance utilizes a micro fabricated biochip having a collection chamber. A fluid sample containing a microbiological entity of interest is delivered to the collection chamber in the biochip. Then a non-uniform electric field is generated in the collection chamber, to retain the microbiological entity of interest in the collection chamber. The microbiological entity is retained through dielectrophoresis induced by the energization of the electrodes by a periodically applied, alternating current.

"An Aqueous Bio-based Battery" (Biobattery) (US 7,410,709) (June 24, 2004)
Co-Inventors: Michael Ladisch, Nathan Mosier, Eric Perkins

A biobattery includes a biomolecular energy source, a first electrode and a second electrode. In some configurations, a biobattery may also include a first cell containing the first electrode and the biomolecular energy source, and a second cell having a reducible substrate and the second electrode. The first cell can be in ionic communication with the second cell, for example, by a proton exchange membrane. Various biomolecular energy sources can be used, including proton donor molecules or electrolytically oxidazable molecules. For example, the biomolecular energy source can be selected from the group consisting of Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NADH), Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide Phosphate (NADPH) and 5,10-Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase (FADH).

"Systems Engineering for Microscale Biodetection of Food borne Pathogens" (formerly, "Biosensor and Related Methods") (US 6,716,620 B2) (April 6, 2004).
Co-Inventors: R. Bashir, R. Gomez, P. Robinson, A. Bhunia, and M. R. Ladisch

A microscale biosensor for use in the detection of target biological substances including molecules and cells is a microfluidic system with integrated electronics, inlet-outlet ports and interface schemes, high sensitivity detection of pathogen specificity, and processing of biological materials at semiconductor interfaces. A fabrication process includes an all top-side processing for the formation of fluidic channels, planar fluidic interface ports, integrated metal electrodes for impedance measurements, and a glass cover sealing the non-planar topography of the chip using spin-on-glass as an intermediate bonding layer. Detection sensitivity is enhanced by small fluid volumes, use of a low-conductivity buffer, and electrical magnitude or phase measurements over a range of frequencies.

"Processes for Treating Cellulosic Material" (US 5,846,787) (December 8, 1998)
Co-Inventors: M. R. Ladisch, K. Kohlmann, P. Westgate, J. Weil and Y. Yang

Disclosed are processes for pretreating cellulosic materials in liquid water by heating the materials in liquid water at a temperature at or above their glass transition temperature but not substantially exceeding 220 C, while maintaining the pH of the reaction medium in a range that avoids substantial autohydrolysis of the cellulosic materials. Such pretreatments minimize chemical changes to the cellulose while leading to physical changes which substantially increase susceptibility to hydrolysis in the presence of cellulase.

"Method for Derivatization of Cellulosic Stationary Phase" (US 5,808,010) (September 15, 1998)
Co-Inventors: M. Ladisch, K. Hamaker, R. Hendrickson, and M. Brewer

A solid sorbent material comprising cellulose which has been modified by hydrolysis with a cellulase enzyme for a duration sufficient to increase the protein adsorption capacity of the solid sorbent material and methods for preparing the sorbent material. Methods for purifying a protein include passing a liquid medium containing the protein over the solid sorbent material are also included.

"Vapor Phase Dehydration of Aqueous Alcohol Mixtures" (US 4,345,973) (August 24, 1982)
Co-Inventors: M. R. Ladisch and G. T. Tsao

A method for dehydration and/or enrichment of aqueous alcohol mixtures wherein the mixtures in the vapor state are contacted with a dehydration agent which is composed of cellulose, carboxymethylcellulose, cornmeal, cracked corn, corn cobs, wheat straw, bagasse, starch, hemicellulose, wood chips, other grains, other agricultural residues or mixtures thereof.

"Acid Hydrolysis of Cellulose to Yield Glucose" (Australian Patent 521,560, UK Patent GB 2016,014B, Philippine Patent 15113, Canadian Patent 1,118,381)
Co-Inventors: G. T. Tsao, M. R. Ladisch and A. Bose

A non-toxic cellulose solvent and process for forming and utilizing the same is disclosed. The solvent includes a metal chelating agent and a caustic swelling agent with the disclosed solvent being prepared in either aqueous or solid form. The solvent is caused to contact cellulosic materials in order to precipitate cellulose therefrom. The recovered celulose may then be hydrolyzed by cellulose enzyme or acid to yield glucose with lignin being removed either before or after hydrolysis has occurred.

"Process for Treating Cellulosic Materials and Obtaining Glucose Therefrom" US 4,281,063) (July 28, 1981), (UK Patent GB 2,017,707B, Canadian Patent 1,118,380)
Co-Inventors: G. T. Tsao, M. R. Ladisch, C. Ladisch and T. Hsu

A process for treating cellulosic materials to obtain glucose therefrom, which process includes an initial acid or base treatment of the cellulosic materials to remove hemicellulose, followed by a solvent treatment of the solid residue to dissolve the native cellulose contained therein. The dissolved cellulose is separated from the solid lignin-containing residue, whereafter the cellulose is reprecipitated by contacting the solution thereof with water. The reprecipitated cellulose is hydrolyzed to glucose either by acid or enzyme hydrolysis. If desired, the cellulose may be reprecipitated and hydrolyzed in the presence of the lignin-containing solid, the latter being separated from the glucose.

"Nontoxic Cellulose Solvent and Process for Forming and Utilizing the Same" (US 4,265,675) (May 5, 1981)
Co-Inventors: G. T. Tsao, B. E. Dale and M. R. Ladisch

A nontoxic cellulose solvent and process for forming and utilizing the same. The solvent includes a metal chelating agent, a metal compound, an oxygen scavenging stabilizing agent and a caustic swelling agent with the disclosed solvent being prepared in either aqueous or solid form. The solvent is caused to contact cellulosic materials in order to dissolve cellulose therefrom. The dissolved cellulose may be reprecipitated and may then be hydrolyzed by cellulose enzyme or acid to yield glucose with lignin being removed either before or after hydrolysis has occurred.

 

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