The Bioenergy Laboratory is designed to accommodate state-of-the-art infrastructure needed for research in molecular biology, protein-production, purification and characterization. The main activities in the laboratory are towards the utilization of microbial and enzymatic systems for the efficient breakdown of biomass. The soluble sugars obtained from the enzymatic hydrolysis of biomass can serve to produce bioethanol. In-depth studies are being carried out on the cellulolytic and hemicellulolytic system of two thermophilic bacteria, Clostridium thermocellum and Geobacillus stearothermophilus (C. thermocellum produces a large enzymatic complex, the cellulosome, which is made of different catalytic units and was found to degrade efficiently crystalline cellulose).
The 110 square meter Bioenergy Laboratory is located in the ground floor of the Biotechnology and Food Engineering building and accommodates offices for PIs and researchers. Its establishment was supported by the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.
Major equipment associated with the activity of the laboratory:
> Isothermal Titration Calorimetric System (MicroCal iTC200) for measuring the thermodynamic of binding constants between proteins and sugar ligands.
> Solaris M Series 30-Liter Bioreactor equipped with off-gas analysis in build in balance. The fermentor allows the production of selected enzymes in multi-gram quantities for the degradation of biomass.
> AKTA Avant Chromatography System for the purification and characterization of biomass active enzymes.
> Micro Differential Scanning Calorimetric System (MicroCal VP-DSC) for measuring the melting temperature of biomass active enzymes.