(2) Lab Write Up Short Research Assignment

(2) Lab Write Up Short Research Assignment - Biological...

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Biological Availability and Enzyme Efficiency Associated with Bio-ethanol Production Jonathan Michael Lindle George Washington University Lindle@gwmail.gwu.edu October 12, 2011
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Lindle 2 Jonathan Michael Lindle Professor David Morris Do We Need Biotechnology? 12 Oct. 2011 Introduction The potential impact that biofuels and bio-ethanol can make is huge. The extensive re- search and application of this particular technology may cause the United States to be less de- pendent on other nations for fossil fuels and, ultimately, produce a safer alternative to fossil fuels. Biofuels are created by converting biomass into sugars that can be fermented. Glucose is an example of this because it can be converted into bio-ethanol. When converting sugars that have a higher molecular weight of carbohydrates than others, they must first undergo a process call saccharification. This process breaks down molecules such as starch into small oligosacchar- ides which can then be further processed. Enzymes, such as alpha-amylase and glucoamylase, aid in the saccharification of starch and other sugars (Leemhuis 2002). Pectin, a high density polysaccharide derived from the cell walls of fruits is commonly de-synthesized using the en- zyme pectinesterase (Mayorga 1971). In order to properly assess the saccharification of the sugars, we carried out two projects. In the first one, bacteria that release enzymes that are known to break down starch were isolated from soil samples. It is known that many soil bacteria naturally produce alpha-amylase and other enzymes that are responsible for breaking down starches and other complex carbohydrates (An- derson 2002). Enzymes are secreted because the bacteria are much smaller than the complex sug- ars and therefore must break them down into simple sugars. The isolation of these microbes are important to biotechnology because these enzymes have many applications. For example, alpha-
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Lindle 3 amylases are also used in industrial-scale starch liquefaction (Shaw 1999) and the production of cigarettes (Pen 1992), to name a few. Our second project focused on the biological availability of different carbohydrates for the production of bio-ethanol. Biological availability is defined as the ability of bacteria to con- vert sugars (inputs) into outputs such as alcohols and other organic compounds. The easier it is to work with a specific molecule, the higher its availability is. Our experiment specifically looked at the simple sugars, or monosaccharides, such as glucose, fructose, galactose, and xylose. Com- plex polysaccharides were also examined, such as cornstarch, pectin, and molasses. Additionally, our experiment tested the efficiency of three different enzymes for saccharification. These en- zymes were pectinestorase, alpha-amylase, and glucoamylase. Materials and Methods
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This note was uploaded on 01/25/2012 for the course BISC 1000 taught by Professor Davidmorris during the Fall '11 term at GWU.

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(2) Lab Write Up Short Research Assignment - Biological...

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