MicroDrivE - Microbially Derived Energy



MicroDrivE is a thematic research program on sustainable biofuel production at the Faculty for Natural Resources and Agriculture (NL), Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU).


Long term goals: To maximise the energy yield of ethanol and biogas processes, improve overall process economy through development of novel co-products, and to minimise environmental impacts.


Program strategy: To integrate research projects on biopreservation, enzymatic pre-treatment of plant feed stock, ethanol fermentation, bioprocessing and fermentation of by-products from ethanol processing, biogas fermentation, and the re-circulation of plant nutrients in biogas digestates. Initially, the focus will be on using cereal grains and sugar beets as feed stock; later, use of straw and other cellulosic biomass sources will be explored.


Participants: MicroDrivE presently involves 15 scientists, post-docs and PhD students with specialist competence in microbiology, molecular biology/enzymology and natural products chemistry. The scientists supervise  MSc thesis students doing 20 week-projects, commonly in joint projects with our industrial partners (Syngenta seeds, Chematur Engineering, Jästbolaget, Medipharm and Tekniska verken/Svensk Biogas).


Financing and time period: MicroDrivE is funded by the NL-faculty (50%), our industrial partners, the Swedish Farmers Research Foundation (SLF) and the National Energy Board. The research program has an annual budget exceeding 5 MSEK, and started officially on March 1, 2007, with plans to continue until 2013.