Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation


UW Technologies Developed Through the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center

The Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) is led by the University of Wisconsin–Madison, with Michigan State University as a major partner, and is one of three bioenergy research centers established in 2007 by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Member institutions include a DOE National Laboratory, universities and a biotechnology company.

GLBRC is working to meet the nation’s need for a comprehensive suite of clean energy technologies, including next generation and drop-in fuels that can be used in today’s engines. The GLBRC's research supports the development of a robust pipeline from biomass production through pretreatment and final conversion to fuel, with sustainability providing a unifying theme.

UW–Madison has a rich history of developing and commercializing innovative technologies that benefit the world, including sustainable technologies. From engines that emit fewer pollutants to "smart" grids that enable more efficient use of power to solar heating and cooling systems, for decades UW–Madison scientists have been inventing solutions to the energy challenge, including several biofuels technologies developed through the GLBRC.


Bacteria Modified to Secrete Biologically Active Protein for Large-Scale Production

E. coli is the most common prokaryote used to produce protein.  The expressed protein generally accumulates in the cytoplasm.  While this approach is useful for some proteins, not a...

Axial Flux-Switching Permanent Magnet Machine for High Speed Operation

High speed electric machines are needed in many applications including HVAC, industry, flywheels, fans, fuel-efficient vehicles, aircraft and much more.

Flux-switching permanent magnet (F...

High Force Density Three Pole Magnetic Bearing


Gene Controls Flowering Time in Corn

Plant development is marked by three phases: juvenile, adult vegetative and flowering. The timing between phases is known to impact traits like yield, productivity and tissue digestibility. However, t...

Method To Liquefy Biomass


Polypeptide And Yeast Cell Compositions And Methods Of Using The Same


Cell-Free System for Combinatorial Discovery of Enzymes Capable of Transforming Biomass for Biofuels

Biofuels produced from biomass provide a promising alternative to fossil fuels.  Biomass is an inexpensive, readily available and renewable resource.  However, the process of converting biom...

Mild, Nontoxic Production of Fuels and Chemicals from Biomass

Fossil fuel resources supply almost 90 percent of the world’s energy and the vast majority of its organic chemicals. This dependency is insupportable in light of rising emissions, demand and diminis...

Modified Yeast Show Improved Xylose Fermentation and Toxin Tolerance

Bleaching plant material with alkaline hydrogen peroxide (AHP) is an old process used for papermaking. Several decades ago researchers suggested that this method also could be used in biofuel producti...

Lignin from Transgenic Poplar Is Easier to Process

Lignin is an important plant cell wall component that provides structural support and vascular functions. It is one of the most abundant organic polymers on Earth, constituting about 30 percent of non...

Microbiomes And Methods For Producing Medium-Chain Fatty Acids From Organic Substrates


Yeast Strains With Selected Or Altered Mitotypes And Methods Of Making And Using The Same


A High-Efficacy CRISPRi System And Strong Synthetic Promoters For Alphaproteobacteria And Gammaproteobacteria


Gene Duplications For Crabtree-Warburg-Like Aerobic Xylose Fermentation


Device and Method for Reducing the Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) Generated by Power Converters

As a byproduct of normal operation, electrical circuits can induce unwanted signals, or noise, in other circuits, thereby degrading performance. This problem, known as electromagnetic interference (EM...

Power Conditioning Architecture for Wind Turbine

Wind-powered generators are an increasing source of power for many countries. However, before their use can become widespread, they must be able to work effectively with the existing utility grid. P06426US

Inverter for Common Mode Voltage Cancellation

In a drive system, a voltage source inverter (VSI) may be used to transfer real power from a DC power source to an AC load. Conventional VSIs consist of two or three phase-legs, each of which is a ser...

BAHD Acyltransferases


Vernier Machine With Shaped Permanent Magnet Groups


Translation-Coupling Cassette for Quickly and Reliably Monitoring Protein Translation in Host Cells

Bacterial production of recombinant proteins is used commonly by researchers and commercial entities to manufacture a large variety of proteins. However, many proteins are not produced efficiently in ...

Field Controlled Axial Flux Permanent Magnet Electrical Machine

A continuing need exists for compact, efficient, inexpensive electrical machines with high torque capability over a large speed range and the ability to control machine speed. This need is particularl...

Improved S. Cerevisiae Strains for Anaerobic Xylose Fermentation and High Stress Tolerance

Worldwide renewable energy sources are in high demand due to climate change combined with rapid depletion of fossil fuel reserves. Bioethanol remains the most attractive choice as an alternative to co...

Improved Biomass Conversion with GVL Co-Solvent

Production of fuels and chemicals from biomass requires utilization of all biomass fractions, i.e., cellulose, hemi-cellulose and lignin. Thus, product molecules from all fractions of biomass must be ...

Methods Of Processing Aromatic Compounds


Controller For Self-Organizing Microgrid


Semiconductor Interconnect Design for Small, Inexpensive, Integrated Current Sensing with Improved Reliability

Semiconductors, which regulate power flow in many modern electronic devices, use interconnects such as bond wires or lead frames to integrate different components: chip, substrate and terminals. Inter...

A Ratiometric Biosensor To Measure Intracellular Nadh/Nad+ Redox


Microorganisms And Methods For Producing 2-Pyrone-4,6-Dicarboxylic Acid And Other Compounds




High-Yielding Method for Converting Biomass to Fermentable Sugars for Biofuel Production

Lignocellulosic biomass is a very desirable feedstock for biofuel production.  If the fermentation process for lignocellulose could be optimized, conversion of this biomass could yield 25 to 50 b...

More Efficient Ethanol Production from Mixed Sugars Using Spathaspora Yeast

Ethanol obtained from the fermentation of grains and sugars is being blended with gasoline to bolster dwindling petroleum supplies. The alcohol increases combustion efficiency and octane value, and ca...

‘Green’ Tylenol: Synthesizing Acetaminophen from Renewable Biomass

Paracetamol (acetaminophen) is an analgesic and fever-reducing medicine. It is an active ingredient in many widely sold over-the-counter medicines such as Tylenol and Panadol. As a prescription pharma...

Method To Solubilize Biomass Under Mild Conditions


Induction Motor Wastes Less Power

The induction machine is by far the most heavily used industrial motor, and ranges in size from a fraction of a horsepower to more than a megawatt. It produces torque by the electromagnetic interactio...

Modified Microbes Tolerate 50-Fold More Organic Acid

Production of industrial chemicals has long relied on petroleum-based starting material. As reserves of fossil carbon dwindle, a new approach is looking to microorganisms and their ability to convert ...

One-Step Process to Generate Lignin-Derived Aromatics from Raw Biomass

Lignocellulosic biomass is a renewable energy source with great potential for generating value-added chemicals. One of the major components of biomass is lignin (15-25 percent). Due to its infamo...

High Yield Method to Produce LGO from Biomass

Levoglucosenone (LGO) is a highly dehydrated sugar typically derived from cellulose. It is an important, non-petroleum building block chemical with potential uses in a wide range of industrial process...

Electrochemical Reductive Coupling of Phenol Derivatives




Genes for Xylose Fermentation, Enhanced Biofuel Production in Yeast

Efficient fermentation of cellulosic feedstocks is an essential step in the production of biofuel from plant materials. Glucose and xylose are the two most abundant monomeric carbohydrates found in he...

One- and Two-Phase Conversion of Biomass to Furfural

Exploiting the energy potential of biomass high in cellulose and lignin—including grasses, shrubs, husks, bark, yard and mill offal not readily digestible by humans—offers a vast and renew...

Modified Yeast Ferments Biomass Xylose

Producing biofuel on a useful scale requires efficient fermentation of cellulosic plant material. The sugars glucose and xylose are the most abundant carbohydrates found in hemicellulose. The yeast mo...

Selective Conversion of Lignin into Simple Aromatic Compounds

Lignin is a major component of non-edible biomass (15-30 percent by weight; 40 percent by energy). It is a cheap byproduct of pulp and biofuel production and is one of the few naturally occurring sour...

Fatty Acid-Producing Microbes for Generating Medium- and Long-Chain Hydrocarbons

New, renewable sources of transportation fuel are needed to meet continuing demand. While the main focus has been on biomass-derived gasoline alternatives such as ethanol and other short-chain alcohol...

Microorganisms For Producing Organic Acids


Ethanol Tolerant Yeast for Improved Production of Ethanol from Biomass

Ethanol production from cellulosic biomass can make a significant contribution toward decreasing our dependence on fossil fuels.  However, the fermentation of biomass can be problematic.  On...

Salt-Enhanced Production Of Gamma-Valerolactone (Gvl) From Aqueous Solutions Of Levulinic And Formic Acids


Wisconsin-Sourced Lager Yeast

Beer can be divided into two broad categories: ales and lagers. Ales have been brewed for thousands of years. They are warm fermented (up to 80° F) for as little as three weeks using top-fermenting y...

Concentrated C5 and C6 Sugars from Biomass

Widespread production of sustainable fuels and chemicals will require cost-effective methods for breaking down biomass into its constituent sugars. Attaining high yields of concentrated C5 and C6 carb...

Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor Self-Sensing Drive System

Permanent magnet synchronous motors (PMSM) provide torque through the interaction of a magnetic field generated by one or more armature coils and one or more permanent magnetic elements. These motors ...

Recombinant Yeast Having Increased Tolerance To Ionic Liquids And Methods Of Use


Vernier Permanent Magnet Machines with High Torque Density

The vernier permanent magnet (VPM) machine first appeared about 20 years ago. This motor has the potential to create torque well beyond other types of permanent magnet machines and compete with rare e...

Natural Antibiotic to Treat Clostridium Infection and More

Bacterial resistance to antibiotics is an escalating problem, especially in hospital settings. The Centers for Disease Control recently identified Clostridium difficile as posing an “urgent...

Switch Network Of A Multilevel Power Converter Architecture


Microorganisms For Producing Organic Acids


Converter Control Using Reduced Link Capacitor


Grass Modified for Easier Bioprocessing

Manufacturing paper and producing biofuels is difficult because the lignin in plant cell walls is tough to degrade. Current techniques are energy intensive and use harsh chemicals. In the case of biof...

Microbes Produce High Yields of Fatty Alcohols from Glucose

Fatty alcohols are used in detergents, emulsifiers, lubricants and personal care items. More than 1.3 million tons of fatty alcohols are used worldwide each year, representing a $3 billion market.

Modified Yeast to Boost Biofuel Yields

Producing biofuel on an industrial scale requires efficient fermentation of cellulosic plant material. Glucose and xylose are two of the most abundant sugars found in biomass. The yeast most commonly ...

New Rotor Magnet Configuration Delivers Greater Efficiency at a Lower Price

Permanent magnet machines (PMs) are common in electric and hybrid vehicles, renewable energy and other industrial applications. These utilize permanent magnets made from rare earth materials (such as ...

Better Biomass Conversion with Recyclable GVL Solvent

To recover useful carbohydrates locked in biomass, molecular bonds must be broken while avoiding further reaction of the resulting glucose and xylose sugars. This is a challenge because glucose can de...

Extending Juvenile Stage of Plants for Biofuels and Feedstock

Juvenile and adult grass tissue dramatically differs in anatomy, chemistry and ability to withstand stresses. Juvenile plants cannot flower and their leaves are better able to resist cold and drought....

Enhanced Biomass Digestion with Wood Wasp Bacteria

Plant biomass represents a vast and renewable source of energy. However, harnessing this energy requires breaking down tough lignin and cellulose cell walls. In nature, certain microbes can deconstruc...

Transgenic Lignin Easier to Break Down for Biofuel

Lignocellulosic biomass is a very desirable feedstock for biofuel production. If the fermentation process could be optimized, conversion of this biomass could yield 25 to 50 billion gallons of ethanol...

P-Coumaroyl-Coa:Monolignol Transferases


Producing Linear Alpha Olefins from Biomass

Linear alpha olefins (LAOs) are valuable commodity chemicals traditionally derived from petroleum. They are versatile building blocks for making a range of chemical products like polyethylene, synthet...

Powerful New Enzyme for Transforming Biomass

Converting plant cellulose and hemicellulose into fermentable sugars is a major bottleneck in the biofuel industry. Chemical pretreatment and enzyme hydrolysis (breakdown) usually are required.

Lighter, Cheaper Multilevel Converter for Adjustable Speed Drives

An adjustable speed drive (ASD) is a power electronics device that controls the speed of machinery. These devices also save energy for industrial processes that require adjustable speed or controlling...

Zip-Lignin™ Assay: An Analysis and Validation Tool

To produce pulp from wood, harsh chemicals are applied during cooking and bleaching mainly because lignin is tough to break down. To make it easier to degrade, Wisconsin researchers discovered how che...

Enzymatic Depolymerization of Lignin

Lignin is a renewable resource that accounts for up to 30 percent of the dry weight of vascular plant cell walls. It is comprised of aromatic compounds that may be valuable commodities for the biofuel...

Two-Step Process Converts Lignin into Simple Aromatic Compounds

Lignin is a major component of non-edible biomass. It is a cheap byproduct of pulp and biofuel production and is one of the few naturally occurring sources of valuable aromatic compounds. Converting l...

Microorganisms That Co-Consume Glucose With Non-Glucose Carbohydrates And Methods Of Use


Modified Yeast with Enhanced Tolerance for GVL Biomass Solvent

Gamma-valerolactone (GVL) is an inexpensive solvent derived from biomass that can be used to break apart tough lignocellulose into fermentable sugars including xylose and glucose. GVL-based techniques...

Industrial Streptomyces with Capability to Grow on Cheap and Abundant Cellulose

Many species of Streptomyces are used industrially in the production of medicines, proteins and other fine commodity chemicals. However, the vast majority must be grown on high-cost glucose fee...

High-Throughput Genome Editing and Engineering of Industrial Yeast, Other Fungi

As the industrial uses of yeast and other fungi expand, new systems are needed to genetically optimize strains for their intended use. In particular, the ability to manipulate prototrophic and diploid...

Bio-Based Production of Non-Straight-Chain and Oxygenated Fatty Acids for Fuels and More

Fatty acids generally can be classified as straight-chain or non-straight-chain. Non-straight-chain fatty acids are less abundant and highly valued in dietary supplements, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, ...

Modified E. coli for Enhanced Production of Pyruvate, Ethanol

Pyruvate is a starting material for synthesizing a variety of biofuels and chemicals. It can be readily converted into more than 60 commercial chemicals, including ethanol and several active pharmaceu...

Nitroxyl-Mediated Oxidation Of Lignin And Polycarboxylated Products


Polycarboxylated Compounds And Compositions Containing Same


Wound Field Synchronous Machines with Enhanced Saliency, Performance

Permanent magnet (PM) machines are used in today’s hybrid and electric vehicles due to their ideal performance characteristics. However, due to cost uncertainty and overseas sourcing, other types of...

Method Of Selectively Oxidizing Lignin


Converter Control with Reduced Link Capacitor

A converter is an electrical device for converting electrical energy from one form to another, such as between alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC), between different voltages or frequenci...

Recombinant High-Lipid Microbe for Bioproduct & Biofuel Production

Lipids derived from microorganisms, including bacteria, yeast and microalgae, offer a promising source of renewable fuels and chemicals. Oleaginous microbes – defined as those accumulating more than...

Non-GMO Maltotriose-Consuming Strains of Saccharomyces eubayanus

Saccharomyces eubayanus is the cold-tolerant parent yeast of the lager brewing yeast Saccharomyces pastorianus. In recent years there has been considerable interest in brewing with pure ...

Feruloyl-Coa: Monolignol Transferases


High Yield Method to Produce HMF from Fructose

The platform molecule 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), produced from the dehydration of C6 sugars (hexoses), is considered to be one of the top value-added chemicals. The efficient production of HMF fro...

Maize Doubled Haploid and Recombinant Inbred Line Populations