Universidade do Minho

Centre of Biological Engineering

Description of main R&I activities

The engineer selected robust yeast strains for co-consumption of multiple sugars derived from multiple biorefinery streams and for improved inhibitor tolerance generated from renewable substrates; Classical autohydrolysis and organosolv as pre-treatments for different types of biomass; Fermentation processes with selected robust microorganisms; Process intensification through high solid loadings and whole slurry strategies and multiple steps optimisation; Biogas, BioH2, BioCH4, bioliquids (butanol), syngas fermentation; Genome-scale analysis of the transcriptome, proteome, and fluxome and in silico metabolic engineering platforms for the simulation of metabolic networks and optimisation of bacterial strains; Process design and LCA of biorefineries value chain. Leadership/participation in several projects related with biorefineries: BioTecNorte – Underpinning Biotechnology to foster the north of Portugal bioeconomy; Novel anaerobes for a Biobased Economy (ERC), Multibiorefinery – Multi‐purpose strategies for broadband agro‐forest and fisheries by‐products valorisation: a step forward for a truly integrated biorefinery; Development of a cross-border strategy for the eco-sustainable valorization of residual biomass from the winery sector in integral biorefineries for the production of biofuels and bioproducts; Development of eco-friendly technologies for hydrolysis of biomass and residues of cellulose pulp and paper industry; Systematic metabolic engineering of Saccharomyces cerevisiae for high value fatty acids and derived products; Bioinformatics Services for Data-Driven Design of Cell Factories and Communities. SISBI – Intelligent decision support system for Industrial Biotechnology; Technological Alliance to complete the forest and agroindustrial production cycle;Lipid Production by Yarrowia lipolytica growing on waste/wastewater stream; Integrated valorisation of agro-food by‑products for food and feed applications.

Key contributions for the CoLAB

CEB/UM is one pole of the national Infrastructure on Biomass and Bioenergy (BBRI) since 2016 (FCT Roadmap 2014-2020). CEB will contribute to: 1) Biomass valorisation for energy (bioethanol) and/or bioproducts, the development of yeast cell factories for sugar valorisation by fermentation; process intensification through high solid loadings and whole slurry strategies; process integration of multiple steps optimization; 2) Biomass valorisation for energy purposes; production of Biohydrogen and Biomethane; production of volatile acids as platform chemicals in a biorefinery; syngas fermentation; metagenomics and metatranscriptomics for the discovery of new enzymes and metabolic functions; 3) Simulation of metabolic networks and optimisation of bacterial strains to attain industrial aims; design of new pathways by using synthetic biology approaches in bacteria; Process design (sizing, cost estimation and the techno‐economic analysis) and Life Cycle Analysis of biorefineries value chain.

International Networks / Associations

Affiliated entity related to development, production and transaction of products and services (e.g. TecMinho), development of R&D projects. WETSUS - the European Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Water Technology. The IB-S - Institute of Science and Innovation for Sustainability. CEB integrates pan-European Research Infrastructures (RI): MIRRI, a RI for microbial resources; INSTRUCT, a RI in structural biology; ELIXIR the European Life Sciences Infrastructure for Biological Information, the Biomass and Bioenergy RI, awarded by FCT for integration into national and European Roadmap for RI in the field of energy.