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dc.contributor.authorDeng, Weiping
dc.contributor.authorWang, Yunzhu
dc.contributor.authorZhang, Sui
dc.contributor.authorGupta, Krishna M.
dc.contributor.authorHülsey, Max J.
dc.contributor.authorAsakura, Hiroyuki
dc.contributor.authorLiu, Lingmei
dc.contributor.authorHan, Yu
dc.contributor.authorKarp, Eric M.
dc.contributor.authorBeckham, Gregg T.
dc.contributor.authorDyson, Paul J.
dc.contributor.authorJiang, Jianwen
dc.contributor.authorTanaka, Tsunehiro
dc.contributor.authorWang, Ye
dc.contributor.authorYan, Ning
dc.identifier.citationDeng W, Wang Y, Zhang S, Gupta KM, Hülsey MJ, et al. (2018) Catalytic amino acid production from biomass-derived intermediates. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: 201800272. Available:
dc.description.abstractAmino acids are the building blocks for protein biosynthesis and find use in myriad industrial applications including in food for humans, in animal feed, and as precursors for bio-based plastics, among others. However, the development of efficient chemical methods to convert abundant and renewable feedstocks into amino acids has been largely unsuccessful to date. To that end, here we report a heterogeneous catalyst that directly transforms lignocellulosic biomass-derived α-hydroxyl acids into α-amino acids, including alanine, leucine, valine, aspartic acid, and phenylalanine in high yields. The reaction follows a dehydrogenation-reductive amination pathway, with dehydrogenation as the rate-determining step. Ruthenium nanoparticles supported on carbon nanotubes (Ru/CNT) exhibit exceptional efficiency compared with catalysts based on other metals, due to the unique, reversible enhancement effect of NH3 on Ru in dehydrogenation. Based on the catalytic system, a two-step chemical process was designed to convert glucose into alanine in 43% yield, comparable with the well-established microbial cultivation process, and therefore, the present strategy enables a route for the production of amino acids from renewable feedstocks. Moreover, a conceptual process design employing membrane distillation to facilitate product purification is proposed and validated. Overall, this study offers a rapid and potentially more efficient chemical method to produce amino acids from woody biomass components.
dc.description.sponsorshipWe thank Ms. Kangjia Lu for providing the membrane distillation devices. This work was supported by the National University of Singapore Young Investigator award and the Ministry of Education, Singapore Tier-2 grant, respectively (R-279-000-462-112 and R-279-000-464-133), National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grants 91545203, 21690082, and 21473141), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (Grant 20720160029). SPring-8 is acknowledged for providing EXAFS and XANES analysis (Proposal 2017A1256). E.M.K., and G.T.B. thank the US Department of Energy (DOE) Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) for funding under Contract DE-AC36-08GO28308 with National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The US Government retains and the publisher, by accepting the article for publication, acknowledges that the US Government retains a nonexclusive, paid up, irrevocable, worldwide license to publish or reproduce the published form of this work, or allow others to do so, for US Government purposes.
dc.publisherProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
dc.rightsThis open access article is distributed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License 4.0 (CC BY-NC-ND).
dc.subjectAmino acids
dc.subjectΑ-hydroxyl Acids
dc.titleCatalytic amino acid production from biomass-derived intermediates
dc.contributor.departmentAdvanced Membranes and Porous Materials Research Center
dc.contributor.departmentPhysical Sciences and Engineering (PSE) Division
dc.contributor.departmentChemical Science Program
dc.identifier.journalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
dc.eprint.versionPublisher's Version/PDF
dc.contributor.institutionState Key Laboratory for Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University, 361005 Xiamen, China.
dc.contributor.institutionDepartment of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, National University of Singapore, 117585 Singapore.
dc.contributor.institutionElements Strategy Initiative for Catalysts & Batteries, Kyoto University, 615-8245 Kyoto, Japan
dc.contributor.institutionDepartment of Molecular Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University, 615-8510 Kyoto, Japan.
dc.contributor.institutionNational Bioenergy Center, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO 80401.
dc.contributor.institutionInstitut des Sciences et Ingénierie Chimiques, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), CH 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland.
kaust.personLiu, Lingmei
kaust.personHan, Yu

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This open access article is distributed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License 4.0 (CC BY-NC-ND).
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as This open access article is distributed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License 4.0 (CC BY-NC-ND).