This collaborative project is investigating recovering valuable chemicals from low-grade waste streams using enzymatic hydrolysis to breakdown lignocellulosic compounds.

At a glance

Options for recycling waste materials are in a constant state of review by the resource management industry, and they are intrinsically linked to, amongst other things, the market value of the recyclate and/or the cost of conversion.

A number of industrial processes produce waste streams that include an organic fraction containing lignocellulose. Example lignocellulosic wastes include agricultural and forestry residues, and wastes from furniture manufacturing and paper recycling.

This project explores the potential for the conversion of lignocellulosic materials (which are currently recycled at negative or low values) into higher value products, therefore reducing waste and increasing worth of these lignocellulosic by-products. This will upcycle these materials, potentially diverting them from disposal

The potential outcomes of this work is the demonstrated pathways of producing storable chemical products, such as raw material substitutes in manufacturing of chemicals or liquid fuels, for example ethanol.