BETO 2021 Peer Review - Cell Free and Immobilization Technologies (CFIT)

Research output: NRELPresentation


Today, several key factors negatively impact the production of fuels and chemicals from renewable sources. Common hindrances in the biological production of biochemicals are: (1) end-product or intermediate toxicity to the microbial biocatalyst, (2) the diversion of carbon to biomass formation, and (3) co-production of undesired byproducts. A particularly attractive alternative is to eliminate the biocatalyst entirely and instead operate the desired metabolic pathways in isolation, thus circumventing the roadblocks of biological toxicity, lower yields, and lack of specificity. However, cell-free enzyme systems still suffer from low productivities owing in part to the effects of free diffusion of intermediates, lack of long term enzyme stability, cofactor cost or inefficient recycling rates, and finally, the cost of enzyme production/purification. This project represents a new effort to propose innovative and cost competitive routes to producing biochemicals from a variety of feedstocks using cell free approaches. These routes will help reduce the current risk and cost associated with classical cell free production. Cell free technologies show promise for application to the production of toxic/inhibitory products or products difficult to separate from microbial growth media and can help reduce the production barriers in multiple areas of biological conversion of feedstocks to biochemicals.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages24
StatePublished - 2021

Publication series

NamePresented at the U.S. Department of Energy's Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) 2021 Project Peer Review, 8-12, 15-16, and 22-26 March 2021

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-2700-79262


  • biochemicals
  • biomass
  • cell-free enzyme systems
  • feedstocks


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