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P. O. Box 1 Department of Biotechnology
Univ. of New South Wales Kensington NSW 2033
Stock symbol: BSC
We are an industry biotech company for feed and alternative fuels manufacturing. Feedstock from farming is processed/stored/fermented on-farm on a small scale or in industrial-scale feedmills.
Engineering systems are being conceptualized for the farm with on-farm and industrial feed mills settings using genetically modified (GM) low-lignin feedstocks (~30% less) (e. g. straws, stover, bagasse, miscanthus, switchgrass) with SO2/steam explosion (SE) pre-treatment and microbial probiotic ureolytic/lignase type-II by the rapid bagged technique (Urea/Anaero-O-Lyse Process), enzymatic anaerobic ligninolytics (Anaer-O-Lyse Process) with ensilage, GM fungal (e. g. Basidiomycetes) solid substrate fermentation (SSF) with their lignases (Fungacil-SSF process), yeast saccharification and SCP supplementation (Yeast-O-Lyse process) or the bio-bleaching with lacasse (lignase type-III) (Lys-O-Zyme process) of feedstock.
The state-of-the-art at this time is with industrial pre-treatment (IPT) with chemical means (viz. see others that are biological, physical and thermal) such as with ammoniation and SO2. In fact, SO2/steam explosion (SE) has been suggested for feed pre-treatment using IPT and that this should be annexed to other pre-treatments including the biological pre-treatments outlined above. There is one possible bio-pretreatment using the microbial probiotic ureolytics by the rapid bagged technique (Urea-O-Lyse Process) with an "implant" or GM lignase type-II enzyme annexed with the SO2/SE protocol practicable with physical plants from co-operatives and in industrial mill settings with collection systems.
SKYENEWS: The latest about natural gas (CH4) generation from animal waste [cf. Rusitec (R) digestors with fibre (e. g. pre-treated straw, stover and haulms), whey and protein using Neocallimastix spp. (fungi) and Methanobrevibacter spp., co-culture, above], is a report out from Monroe WA USA where dairy cows are fed flour rejects, eggs past expiration, excess brewers' grain, corn silage, alfalfa and molasses recycling what would otherwise go the the sewers or landfill, and what does not go to feed the dairy herds, to the byproduct "stream" for the anaerobic digester in Monroe WA's Wekhoven Dairy's Qualco Energy's powerhouse carried by underground pipes into a "mixing bowl", a vat leading to an underground chamber, where alcohol and other "sloppy" protein and fat for energy are added in addition to the "cow pies" of manure that goes through a complex treatment system and piped to this anaerobic digester, a mile away from the farm. The result produced is in addition to dairy are solids for manure and liquids for eventual field spraying on the farm and methane gas (natural gas) that generates 450 kwatt-hours of power for the Puget Sound grid for 300 of its consumers.
SKYENEWS: At Skye Blue, along trends in cellulosic ethanol production and development, use of new enzymes especially lignases (see: lignase-type II) will make the enzyme cocktail (cf. to Novozyme's CTec3) more efficient after physical disruption with steam/SO2 and fermentation expected from 70%, and up, of the glucose from bagasse; yeast that breaks down cellulose and ferments glucose to ethanol will also be developed for higher tolerance to endproducts; the growing trend for use of biorenewable green fuels, despite large existent and available reserves of fossil-sourced fuels, albeit, supply and security issues and world fuel prices, will make Brazil, a world leader in use of biorenewables from sugarcane and corn in the future; switchgrass, miscanthus, corn stover, wheat straw and other sources of glucose for ethanol and other longer-chain alcohols, more energy dense, will also be used. Biorenewables and other forms of clean energy will be impacted continually with fossil oil and CH4 gas reserves. In the Philippines, heightened controversy with China over the western sea off-shore deep sea areas around the Spratley and Scarborough Islands with reserves of est. 11 billion barrels of oil plus several trillion gallons of natural gas, second only to Saudi Arabia in world reserves. Confrontations and deployments, exploration rights, UN and regional arbitrations, technology agreements, refining facilities, distribution and shipment affecting supply of fossil fuels, will determine the 'other side' with biorenewables with its own issues of demand for and encroachment on grain feed supplies and new developments of by-product feeding outside human food supplies. Bioethanol as a biofuel will continue to mature as a viable commercialized operation (viz. Brazil, as we speak) and in a pro-active manner a step ahead of the conventional fuels industry. In the Philippine-China scenario, foreign relations will be dealt with to follow international rule of law (viz. the commercializable 200 nautical mi. offshore limit) and aggressive trade agreements overseas (viz. China with its purchase of energy companies and use of western pipelines to export from Western Canada).
SKYENEWS: The question in the Philippines of increased militarization by China (Peoples Republic of) in the South China Sea will present issues and perspectives with: seeking regional collaboration and regional alliances amidst the undeniable spectre of superpowers flexing their muscle or presence in the region (e. g. the U. S. A.) and aid from militarized nations like Japan against Chinese hegemony in the region, building up weapons munitions, capabilities with attack fighters and navy cruisers and cooperative military exercises, and seeking the greater of diplomacy and continuing dialogue and mutual agreements including biotech's new role in arbiting food vs. fuel debates and trade agreements world-wide for fuel sources including "greener" sources. The U. S. itself may present new perspectives in this still new area of debate. BP PLC, Shell Royal Dutch PLC, Chevron Corp., Petrobas of Brazil and their recent off-shore finds, Pemex in Mexico, Exxon Mobile (Asia-Pacific and Africa and Power divisions) and off-shore liquefied natural gas (LNG), ONGC in India can all collaborate to engage in deep-sea oil rig exploration. Based on industrialization and urbanization in India and its size economy would be a likely client for Philippine oil demand. There are already collaborations of interest with Indian subcontinent contractors and infrastructure projects including the new Cebu-Mactan International Airport. Apart from industrial use, transportation, military, domestic and tourism, oil reserves may come under a resource nationalism clause to protect and manage resource exploitation. New oil wells up to 9,500 meters deep are deployable under high pressure (psi). See: BPO, Hum-Molgen.De for more on resource-based wealth and how the Arabs have built prosperity for their peoples. Royalties, good or honest governance and investment in a strong, secure banking system can be used in countries like the Philippines.
SKYENEWS: The recent welcome to inventors and design engineers has been called for as an open bid at Skye Blue for one co-op plant milling machine processing component for feeds, that is, yeast bagasse, which improves the N protein content of bagasse feed and its rumen cellulosic digestibility. A mock-up for a shredder/baler in order to reduce and pre-mix solids with liquids at a T (deg C)/pressure, expressing the solids (with the single cell protein, SCP) fraction and with the recycle of the liquid culture innoculant back into its incubator or holding cell, post shredding/mixing. The output is processed to end-product using a pair-roller, extruder pressing machine with grain/molasses binder.
SKYENEWS: Biofine resources have conventionally defined as feedstock that is fibrous (e. g. paper, trees, agroindustrial byproducts and crops) and starch with intermediates to products (e. g. commodity chemicals, specialty chemicals, herbicides/pesticides, heating oil and transportation fuels) (see: http://www.biofinetechnology.com) which we have 'redefined' to expand the meaning herein also to be residuals (e. g. molasses, lignan and organic fertilizer) from feedstock derived from plants, aquatic sea grasses and seaweed for feeds, asphalt and fuels and the latter two as surrogate for GM manufacture of bio-oils or biodiesel and fatty acid alcohols and to be used for specialty fine chemicals (e. g. paints, solvents, resins, fillers, lubricants, etc.) manufacture.
SKYENEWS: In feeds processing, agents to treat feeds to improve digestibility and improve nutritive value include adding water-soluble carbohydrates (WSCs) and protected low-protease amino acids (PFAAs) for microbial cultures involving fungi, yeast and Lactobacilli such as in yeast bagasse, solid substrate fermentation (SSF) and temperate ensilage which still have to be optimized and then used, applying WSCs and PFAAs technology in general across crops for feeds and energy production as has been mentioned with research for D. A. Flores (cf: Lux Esto e-Zine of Kalamazoo College MI USA).
We see potential in developing major engineering systems in post-harvest technology or processing, storage and bio-fermentation systems together with the issues with agriculture resource commodity diversification and trade relationships with strategic (e. g. bioenergy and grain reserves) and non-strategic (e. g. animal products) commodities. Brazil is already a developing agro-biotechnology giant and has industries and a capacity from present agricultural production systems. The French are key players in agricultural development and design & engineering, including INRA, an agronomic-related research institute and network.
Other feed technology around feedstock resource utilization include initiatives with pre-biotic approaches to cropping as one of the most low-cost alternatives together with pro-biotics as options. Examples of pre-biotic approaches include: decreasing proteolysis in the rumen with non-lethal protected protein-dosed crops and residues as dual-purpose cultivars, plant protease-inhibited field-dried harvested forages and field grazed forages and use of peptidic ionophores (e.g. avoparcin which required further structure-functional studies in research with other peptides) which increases propionic acid and flow of protein from the rumen, water-soluble carbohydrates (WSCHO) (e. g. sucrose, fructans, glucose and fructose) which increases nitrogen capture, microbial protein synthesis, digestibility and energy availability and intake. Enzyme technology is already conclusive in its effects on ensilage and improving silage quality and utilization and including the role of sugars and energy availability, protein and peptide/amino acid supply in silage and heat protection of proteins.
In chemical bio/engineering systems there are parallels seen between feeding and energy bio/fermentation systems approaches. Mechanized approaches have to be developed to bring this processing systems about. In rural settings (e. g. North Korea, largely underdeveloped and still largely plagued by poverty but with engineering capacity such as movements in militarization) intensified cropping with co-operatives, aid from mechanization, feed/biomass milling and biofermentation (a more sophisticated process of these) for feeds processing and bioenergy is a model that can be used for movement away from such settings to more intensive, industrialized ones. Note, that energy is a critical input in addition to biomass from cropping and engineered mechanization.
Simple combustion with O2 of biomass as 'green' energy is a viable option for biomass such as the U.K. targeting 15% of its energy away from coal and natural gas (polluting and expensive) to 'green' by 2020 such as with wood chip, sunflower seed hulls and animal faeces. Agro-industrial by-products (AIBPs) as sources for livestock feeding in subsistence farming settings in developing countries and developed countries from farm, food and other industries can now be used as bioenergy in milling in their plant operations for industrial pretreatment (IPT) feeds processing.
Biomass use for energy is an ongoing issue, viz. to take an e.g., in Russia and former Soviet socialist republics. Where there are conventional energy reserves (viz. hydrocarbons such as coal, oil and CH4) there, this has been shown to work (viz. transport, heating, manufacturing, cooking, etc.) efficiently and appropriately well with ongoing continued use; there is the issue of course of continuing export (e. g. to Western and Eastern Europe) as should be and to the poorer countries, and where biomass systems use is still unfortunately not in place; in Western countries there is the issue of global warming and the need to turn to "greener" energy where biomass, as highlighted previously (e. g.: biomass and the U. K.), can be used; additionally conventional sources such as nuclear power will be outdated and displaced, due to age of reactors and the horrific results from earthquakes and tsunamis, in Japan. How much will renewables (including biomass energy) gain ascendancy? Countries like Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and Japan have just announced their renewed pursuit of renewables.
There are areas that biotech in developing nations need addressing, namely, food security, health and manufacturing of various biomass-based materials including phyto-polycarbons for biorenewable plastics and the new nanotechnology. Social security will be addressed eventually with technological investment and industrialization but the role of entrepreneurs and technocrats (i. e. scientist-class individuals who have the expertise, knowledge and who make decisions with science and technology in their societies) in bringing about BPO and technology transfer as well as technological developments with local science and technology capacity need further elucidation. In the Philippines cloning reproductive physiology is being used per scientist for evolving v. high lactating dairy breeds in water buffalo. At Skye Blue we are proposing deregulation or generic GMO development of bio-crops with trade or sale of seed at what would be reduced price for greater use by the small farmer.
ADVERT/NEW FEATURE. 2013 (c). Monthly Newsletter: "Sugarcane as Feed for Energy". Biomass as it will increasingly be used as a bioresource as feed, food and for bioenergy alternatives will become critical in the coming years. Already, there are changes with the demand and process for producing cellulosic ethanol from switchgrass and bagasse as sources of fibre as well as straws (e. g. rice, wheat), stovers (e. g. corn, sorghum) and legume haulms. Sugarcane is one of the most efficient producers of biomass for energy from the sun, making it a major source for both producing bioenergy and feed, in addition to sugar-making and further to energy or cellulosic ethanol, in the tropics and subtropics. Two strategies should be used for producing energy from sugarcane as feed: 1) sugarcane tops, to be ensiled, genetically modified (GM) for higher energy in the whole plant for lower lignin and addition of more soluble, non-structural carbohydrates which ferment more readily in the rumen stomachs of livestock and increase microbial protein synthesis and introducing relatively insoluble GM albumins for nitrogen (N) which is (i.e. total nitrogen, TN) relatively low in sugarcane tops and 2) lowering lignin content in the sugarcane tops (leaves, sheaths and stalk) and derinded, mechanically pressed and ground bagasse stalk, subjected to GM-improved (i.e. boosted) ureolysis or ammoniation with introduced GM anaerobic lignases in sealed bags en silo with urea added at the optimum temperature and moisture content over the time period of weeks. It should be noted that the combined treatment of lowering lignin content (e. g. by fungal digestion, mutation or breeding) and/or treating the ligno-cellulose matrix with alkali permeants from ammoniation has resulted in limited additive digestibility, although, balancing non-protein-nitrogen (NPN) with ammoniation in residue feeds results in significant productive improvements in growth, leading further to speculation whether decreasing lignin content/increasing C-sink organelles in a biosafe and physiological sound manner and without any liability to pest vulnerability, as was referred to previously with whole plant in the tops, and an added approach of using steam explosion (SE)/sulfur dioxide (SO2), using energy biomass co-generation, to disrupt the micro-fibrillar structure before its pre-treatment with enzymes and ammoniation, will improve digestibility dramatically and would be revolutionary to feeding fibrous agricultural residues (FAR) on an industrial scale.
An SBO Company
In a letter we sent to the SUARKCREM (Silliman Univ. Centre in Resource and Environmental Management including marine biology):
We are beginning a portfolio on farming seagrasses in shallow, sheltered shorelines. To highlight the paper in preparation, we are writing you about it. The paper is entitled: "Recombinant Protein Products and Cutins and Suberins Grown in Environmentally Contained Algae, Seaweed and Seagrasses." D. A. Flores. Skye Blue Org. 1440 Barberry Drive, Port Coquitlam, B. C. V3B 1G3 CANADA.
Just as a preview to the overall problem of using supposedly significant offshore low-lying seabed for aquafarming in the Philippines for products like vaccines, hormones, monoclonals and other biologics or therapeutics and 'green' energy, as expected, there has been no research work launched on aquafarming with seagrasses, that we know of.
But as we suspect, there is considerable scope or potential in terms of present and growing (due to global warming) low-lying seabed for meadow grasses and will entail estimating potential meadow area cropped, species and growth rate and overall yield (tons/ha). Seagrass leaves lack stomata (microscopic pores on the underside of their leaves) but have a thin cuticle to allow gas and nutrient exchange. Totally immersed in seawater, the long, linear leaves have no stomata. The plants never exchange gases with the atmosphere. They absorb carbon dioxide that is dissolved in the water and utilize the oxygen they themselves produced during photosynthesis. They reproduce vegetatively generated and transplanted supposedly in hydroponic aquaculture and raised in their marine habitat enclosed with transparent 'aqua netting' to prevent scavenging of the crop bed and possible toxic ingestion by foragers. Labour-intensive input will no doubt play a major role in this form of aquafarming from germination to planting to harvesting.
Downstream, processing will require a homogenization to disrupt cell structure and release of the cytosol and its organelles [in this case the cellular protein storage vesicles (PSV)], extraction in a solvation phase, say with fatty alcohols up to C-7 to C-8, fractionated cracking for kerosene for aviation fuel, octane for transport fuel and manufacture of plastics and specialty-fine chemicals for industry.
It is still a question as to methods and how to culture vegetative rhizoidal cells and successfully grow and how to transform them and with what systems. What are the vectors to use and the transformation methods. The cell wall is presumed thin in cell transformants in calli of the rhizoid and could be amenable to the 'bullet' method of DNA coated gold microball bearings shot biolistically through the cell wall, as with plant transformation. There are papers outlining recent research on plans to use oilseeds as hosts for cutins and suberins, both forms of plant waxes up to C-32 in length in addition to fatty acids from oil for biodiesel.
The proteins (i. e. biosynthetic enzymes) in host cells have to be sequestered (we do not outline here such enzymes which have been studied with oilseeds) in the PSV and have to be processed through the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and Golgi apparatus with appropriate leader sequences. To contain biologically the genetically modified (GM) pollen in these flowering plants, maternal segregation in the mitochondrial DNA will be used as a mechanism.
Again, this paper will be out (2014), so send us a reply and any feedback of any possible interest. It can be sent via e-mail attachment.
THE SKYE TEAM
Last update of this entry: November 04, 2013
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