The US and PCT patent organizations published the following patents and applications during the week of August 30, 2010:

  1. WO2010099406 (University of Maryland) relates to a producing ethanol and other products from plant material. According to the specification, a liquid pulp suspension of lignocellulose materials is combined with a culture of one or more marine gamma-proteobacterium, which after a period of incubation in the mixture produce enzymes which degrade the plant cell wall polysaccharide material into fermentable sugars. The gamma-proteobacterium can be Saccharophagus degradans, preferably S. degradans strain 2-40 having ATCC No. 43961.
  2. WO2010099058 (University of Georgia Research Foundation, Inc.) relates to a process for improving the stability of a bio-oil product. According to the specification, a heated pyrolysis oil vapor is reacted with an atomized alcohol or amine, whereby the carboxylic acid products of the pyrolysis procedure are converted to corresponding esters or amides. The reaction occurs during the condensation phase of the process and avoid the need for esterification by catalyzed reactions. The reduction in content of carbonyl compounds, and in particular of carboxylic acids, of the pyrolysis vapor is said to provide a condensed oil product that has increased stability and heat value when compared to condensed pyrolysis oil not so treated.
  3. WO2010098694 (Limited Liability Company, Moscow) relates to a process for recovering organic solvents produced from plant material, particularly wood chips, in a one stage, one vessel saccharification and fermentation process. According to the specification, a hydrophobic liquid such as silicone oil is placed in a fermentor before the fermentation process. When the solvent concentration in the fermentor approaches the inhibitory value for producing the culture, the overhead pressure in the fermentor is reduced and the produced solvents are removed through the layer of hydrophobic liquid, which serves as a liquid membrane. The recovered solvents are then condensed in a cooling unit.
  4. WO2010098585 (SK Energy Co., Ltd.) relates to a method of producing biofuels without the use of a homogenous acid catalyst. More particularly, a seaweed extract of red algae, brown algae, and/or green algae is hydrolyzed in the presence of a heterogeneous catalyst, and the hydrolysate is converted to biofuel through enzymatic fermentation or chemical reaction. According to the specification, the invention is advantageous because the catalyst can be recycled without a load of wastewater treatment, reducing costs, and because it can be applied to a fixed bed reactor enabling a continuous process on a smaller reactor resulting in higher efficiency and productivity. The specification exemplifies hydrolysis of Agar.
  5. WO2010097640 (Dorivale Holdings Limited) relates to a biodiesel fuel containing non-phenolic antioxidant additives. The non-phenolic additives are the product of a reaction between an amine and a compound having a carboxylic moiety. The amine has a defined formula and can be a non-aromatic dimer or polyamine having at least one primary nitrogen atom separated by two or three carbon atoms from another nitrogen atom. The carboxylic compound has a defined formula and can be either a carboxylic acid or ester. The amine can be, for example, DETA, TETA, or TEPA and the carboxylic can be a mixture of fatty acids obtained by the saponification of a vegetable or animal oil or fat, or a mixture of such oils or fats.
  6. WO2010097519 (Upmkymmene Corporation) relates to a method of catalytically converting crude tall oil (CTO) to useful fuel components, and also to an apparatus for performing the method. According to the specification, crude tall oil is purified and then undergoes a catalytic hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) step. The apparatus includes a catalytic HDO reactor having a feedstock inlet, a hydrogen inlet, an outlet for taking out a HDO product stream, and a purification section. The purification section has a washing section connected to a feedstock source and washing liquid source, and also an outlet connected to the catalytic HDO reactor.
  7. WO2010097415 (UWS Ventures Limited) relates to a yeast cell with fructanase activity, which may be used in bioethanol production. The specification discloses Sayccharomyces cerevisiae AH22 yeast cell transformants containing novel DNA sequences derived from genes encoding bacterial levanase (sacC) from Bacillus subtilis and/or from beta-fructosidase (fosE) from Lactobacillus paracasei.
  8. US Patent Pub. No. 20100218417 relates to a liquid fuel composition having at least one C4+ compound derived from a water-soluble biomass-derived oxygenated hydrocarbon. The C4+ compounds are derived from biomass using catalytic processes rather than microorganisms, enzymes, high temperature gasification or transesterification methods. According to the specification, a feedstock solution containing a water-soluble oxygenated hydrocarbon is reacted with hydrogen over a deoxygenation catalyst to produce oxygenates, and then the oxygenates are reacted over a condensation catalyst under conditions of temperature and pressure to cause a condensation reaction that produces the C4+ compounds. The oxygenated hydrocarbon may be a mono-, di-, or poly-saccharide, cellulose, hemicellulose, or lignin among others.
  9. US Patent Pub. No. 20100218419 relates to an engineered fuel feed stock useful for the production of synthesis gas. The engineered fuel feed stock has identified specifications and has at least one component derived from a processed MSW waste stream. 11. US Patent Pub. No. 20100221778 (Iogen Energy Corporation) relates to novel lignin-resistant cellulase enzymes. The cellulase enzymes have modified linker peptides resulting in improved cellulose hydrolysing activity in the presence of lignin and/or reduced lignin binding. The linker peptide is positioned between a cellulase catalytic domain and a carbohydrate binding molecule, is about 6 to 60 amino acids in length, of which at least about 50% of the amino acids are proline, serine or threonine, and includes amino acid subsitutions, deletions or insertions that result in a decrease in the calculated isoelectric point of the linker peptide and/or an increase in ratio of threonine:serine in the linker peptide compared to the parent linker peptide.
  10. US Patent Pub. No. 20100221784 (Danisco) relates to beta-glucosidase enhanced filamentous fungal whole cellulase compositions, and a method of using the compositions. According to the specification, the compositions are a mixture of a whole cellulase preparation and greater than 10% beta-glucosidase, and the methods include adding beta-glucosidase to a whole cellulase composition in an amount sufficient to decrease the amount of whole cellulase preparation required to hydrolyze a cellulosic material, and using the beta-glucosidase enhanced whole cellulase composition for hydrolyzing cellulosic material.
  11. US Patent Pub. No. 20100221803 (Yukiguni Maitake Co.) relates to a method for improving the conversion efficiency of enzymatic production of ethanol from biomass. According to the specification, the method involves mixing a cellulose-based biomass with one or more hard substances and a reaction solution, and carrying out an enzymatic reaction alone or in combination with fermentation while shaking the reaction vessel. The hard substance can balls made of zirconia, alumina, stainless steel, iron, fluorine resin or nylon.
  12. US Patent Pub. No. 209100221804 (Eisenmann Corporation) relates to an integrated system and process for producing ethanol and biogas from raw plant materials. The system includes apparatus for producing ethanol from plant material and apparatus for anaerobically digesting by-products of the ethanol production process to generate biogas. The process includes producing ethanol and thin stillage from plant materials, producing biogas and biogas effluent from the thin stillage, and recycling the biogas effluent back into the ethanol production process.