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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/3413

Title: Lignocellulosic biomass pretreatment using inorganic salts and simple organic acids, cellobiase encapsulation in mesoporous silica, and organosilica hybrid polymers
Authors: Berke-Schlessel, David
Keywords: Molecular biology;Alzheimer's disease;Lignocellulose
Issue Date: 23-Dec-2010
Abstract: Alternative forms of green energy are becoming increasingly necessary as our supplies of fossil fuels begin to dwindle. As a result, research in green fuel technologies is becoming a necessity. One such green fuel is bio-ethanol that is used by degrading plant cellulose to generate fermentable sugars. A major drawback of this method is the fact that it is currently expensive and inefficient. The goal of this research was to find a viable path for making bio-ethanol a feasible alternative to petroleum based fuels. This research describes several processes for both increasing glucose yield of plant based cellulose hydrolysis, as well as reusing one of the more costly items in biomass hydrolysis, the enzyme. The first process for increasing glucose yield was through the pretreatment of raw plant matter. The plant matter was treated in refluxing solutions of 2.5% (w Iv) FeCb, or 2.5% oxalic acid with 0.5 M NaOH (the two methods that yielded the best results). Each of these methods effectively broke down the plant matter's protective lignin, exposing cellulose for enzymatic hydrolysis. Both methods significantly improved glucose yield, with the FeCb approach increasing yield by as much as 300%, and the oxalic acid method improving yields by as much as 450%. In order to reuse the cellulytic enzyme, cellobiase was encapsulated in mesoporous silica, using a fructose template to generate the pores. When using 50 or 70% fructose template, the cellobiase enzyme could be reused at least ten times (perhaps more) with out loosing enzymatic activity. This method of enzyme reuse could be an effective way to help cut costs, by minimizing the amount of expensive enzyme used. Additionally, this dissertation delves into a method for generating organosilane hybrid materials. These materials are important because they have the potential to retain the heat resistance of silane materials, while including the functionality of organic polymers. The materials made in this research include curcumin and syringaldazine as organic blocks, synthesized with silane reagents. The curcumin-silane hybrids demonstrated a moderate amount of biological activity when human myoblasts were grown on polymeric films. The syringaldazine-silane hybrids expressed the ability to be used as means of detecting chlorine gas.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/3413
Appears in Collections:Drexel Theses and Dissertations

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