In collaboration with Prof. T. Bugg, Dr. K. Kirwan and Dr. G. Barker we have been developing new biological methods of degrading lignin to aromatic precursor feedstocks. Screening of a range of micro-organisms coupled to HPLC and GC-MS analysis allows for a range of aromatic feedstocks to be identified. It is possible to make a range of polystyrene, polyurethane and polyester products from these feedstocks.

lignin

In collaboration with Prof. A. Lapkin we have investigated the extraction of medicinally interesting anti-oxidants from artemesia annua. The main use of the plant is the preparation of artemesinin (an important antimalarial drug). We have used the biorefinery concept to extract a range of other useful chemicals. In particular we have investigated the use of flavanoids as monomers to make novel polymethymethacrylate, polyglcerol, polyester and epoxy resins that retain anti-oxidant properties.

biorefinery

 

Relevant publications

Extracting valuable compounds from straw degraded by pleurotus ostreatus. C. I. Koncsag, A. J. Clark, D. Easton, S. R. Coles, A. E. Collis, K Kirwan, Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 2012, 58, 14-22.

Production of novel chemicals from lignocellulosic wastes. Costs estimation. C. I. Koncsag, S. R. Coles, A. J. Clark and K. Kirwan, Bioresource Tech. 2012, submitted.