Re-using Plant and Waste Feedstock
The BioHub project is a collaborative project funded by Innovate UK with partners from academia (the universities of Sheffield, Manchester and Liverpool) and industry (Unilever, British Sugar, Croda and Cybula) that aims to develop an Integrated Knowledge Management System (IKMS) to facilitate the design of commerically relevant products from biorenewable waste streams.
The IKMS system comprises a data repository developed by colleagues at the University of Manchester. The repository uses semantic web technologies to store data about biorenewable feedstocks and their chemical components together with chemical reactions which are commonly used to convert feedstocks to new products. At Sheffield we have developed a MultiObjective Search Tool (MOST) which takes inputs from the repository and identifies sequences of reactions that can result in the conversion of biorenewable ingredients to final products with well-defined, commercially valuable properties. Colleagues at the University of Liverpool are involved in the synthesis of the design molecules. An example use-case is the synthesis of novel bio-surfactants as detergents from waste streams produced from the processing of sugar beet.