Our research featured in the Algal Research journal
Our colleagues in the Process Development Unit and the Bioscience Innovation team have co-authored the article ‘Acrylic acid and DMSP lyases in the green algae Ulva’ in the July edition of the Algal Research journal.
Green macroalgae of the genus Ulva contain dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) produced from methionine through a transamination pathway. DMSP is converted by DMSP lyase enzymes (DLs) into acrylic acid (AA), a high-value compound with a vast market as its esters have applications in the production of plastic additives, textiles, sealants, adhesives and surface coatings.
Research from the paper has shown that it is possible to extract AA from Ulva biomass by means of simple processing of this feedstock. In the context of a biorefinery approach for the valorisation of Ulva biomass, our results indicate that uncomplicated extraction methods could permit the retrieval of AA, an important compound with numerous downstream applications in several industries.
The research from this paper is based on work from the EU-funded GenIAlG project of which the Biorenewables Development Centre was a partner. Completed in 2021 the projects overall aim was to implement a novel seaweed biorefinery – the whole process of refining sustainably cultivated seaweed biomass to become value-added end products.