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« UMTRI: average new vehicle fuel economy in US in August down from July | Main | Fujitsu develops low power consumption technology for 5G » BIOFOREVER (BIO-based products from FORestry via Economically Viable European Routes)—a consortium of 14 European companies—has started a demonstration project for the conversion of woody biomass to value-adding chemical building blocks such as butanol, ethanol, and 2,5–furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) on an industrial scale. The demonstration project will run for 3 years. The overall budget is €16.2 million (US$18 million) with a €9.9-million (US$11-million) contribution from BBI JU. Woody biomass, including waste wood, will be converted to lignin, (nano-) cellulose and (hemi-) cellulosic sugars, and further converted to lignin derivatives and chemicals. Feedstocks will be benchmarked with crop residues and energy crops. A number of pre-treatment and subsequent conversion technologies will be demonstrated, including delivering commercialization routes for the most promising value chains. Typically, such bio-refineries will be projected in logistic hubs such as the Port of Rotterdam and other European ports. In December 2015 the consortium applied for European funding under the Horizon 2020 program and in April 2016 the proposal was positively evaluated by Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU), a public/private partnership between the European Union and the Bio-based Industries Consortium. BIOFOREVER consortium partners include: API Europe, Greece; Avantium Chemicals BV, Netherlands; Bioprocess Pilot Facility BV, Netherlands; Borregaard AS, Norway; Bio Refinery Development BV, Netherlands; DSM, Netherlands; Elkem Carbon AS, Norway; Green Biologics Ltd, UK; MetGen Oy, Finland; Nova Institute, Germany; Novasep Process SAS, France; Phytowelt, Green Technologies GmbH, Germany; Port of Rotterdam, Netherlands; and SUEZ Groupe, France.


Lehmann C.,RWTH Aachen | Sibilla F.,RWTH Aachen | Sibilla F.,Nova Institute GmbH | Maugeri Z.,RWTH Aachen | And 4 more authors.
Green Chemistry | Year: 2012

Cellulases are promising catalysts for the depolymerization of cellulose under mild conditions. Reengineered cellulases are required to match application demands in biorefineries and to avoid cost-intensive downstream processing. This manuscript provides a novel fluorescence-based high throughput screening method for directed evolution of cellulases, based on 4-methylumbelliferyl- β-d-cellobioside (4-MUC). The 4-MUC high throughput screening system was successfully employed to identify CelA2 variants with enhanced stability and activity in mixtures of water with deep eutectic solvents like choline chloride:glycerol (ChCl:Gly), and seawater. The cellulase variant 4D1 (L21P; L184Q; H288R; K299I; D330G; N442D) was isolated and showed, compared to wild type, an increase in specific activity in 30% (v/v) ChCl:Gly (7.5-fold; 0.4 to 3.0 U mg-1) and in concentrated seawater (1.6-fold; 5.5 to 9.3 U mg-1). In addition, the residual activity of 4D1 in the presence of 3-fold concentrated seawater is unaffected whereas CelA2 wild type loses >50% of its activity. Furthermore, the position H288 was identified as a key position for activity and resistance in 4D1. © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Grotenhermen F.,Nova Institute GmbH | Muller-Vahl K.,Klinik fur Psychiatrie
Suchttherapie | Year: 2016

Background: The interest in the therapeutic use of cannabis and its constituents has considerably increased in recent years Methods: Selective literature search with the keywords cannabi∗ or marijuana or THC or endocannabinoid. Results: The results of controlled clinical studies were the basis for the approval of cannabis-based medicines in several European countries, but also Canada, the US and others. They are mainly prescribed, often off-label, for appetite loss, nausea, spasticity in multiple sclerosis and for other neurological diseases, neuropathic pain and psychiatric conditions. Patients may also apply for an exemption from the narcotics law to the Bundesopiumstelle of the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices to use medicinal cannabis flowers from the pharmacy in the frame of a medically supervised self-medication. Conclusions: Cannabis-based drugs possess a broad therapeutic potential in a number of severe medical conditions. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart·New York.


Sijtsema S.J.,LEI Wageningen UR | Onwezen M.C.,LEI Wageningen UR | Reinders M.J.,LEI Wageningen UR | Dagevos H.,INHolland University of Applied Sciences | And 2 more authors.
NJAS - Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences | Year: 2016

This study explores people's perceptions (i.e., positive and negative associations, mixed feelings) regarding the concept of 'bio-based' in general and specific bio-based products. This exploratory study is one of the first consumer studies in the field of bio-based research. Three focus group discussions were organized in the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Italy, and The Netherlands (with 89 participants in total) in which projective techniques were applied.Results of these group discussions indicate that participants are unfamiliar with 'bio-based' as a concept. 'Bio-based' is most often associated with positive environmental issues as "naturalness" and "environmental friendly" but also with negative environmental associations and to a lesser extent with technological and health issues. Associations with 'bio-based' as a general concept and with particular bio-based products can be simultaneously positive and negative, which caused uncertainty and mixed feelings by the respondents. This idea highlights both the complexity of and a lack of familiarity with the concept of 'bio-based'. Consumers have a holistic perception of bio-based products, i.e., they combine their perception of different aspects of the product in an evaluation of the whole product concept (e.g., their perception of the original product, usability, production method, proportion of bio-based materials used, price, packaging material, and appearance). Discussions on 'bio-based' as a concept are more general and abstract, while discussions and associations related to bio-based products are more specific. This study's qualitative approach illustrates in detail the great variety in consumers' perceptions, which can be both cognitive and affective (including positive, negative and mixed feelings towards 'bio-based' as a concept as well as bio-based products). © 2016 Royal Netherlands Society for Agricultural Sciences.


Grotenhermen F.,Nova Institute GmbH | Muller-Vahl K.,Hannover Medical School
Deutsches Arzteblatt International | Year: 2012

Background: Cannabis-based medications have been a topic of intense study since the endogenous cannabinoid system was discovered two decades ago. In 2011, for the first time, a cannabis extract was approved for clinical use in Germany. Methods: Selective literature review Results: Cannabis-based medications exert their effects mainly through the activation of cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2). More than 100 controlled clinical trials of cannabinoids or whole-plant preparations for various indications have been conducted since 1975. The findings of these trials have led to the approval of cannabis-based medicines (dronabinol, nabilone, and a cannabis extract [THC:CBD=1:1]) in several countries. In Germany, a cannabis extract was approved in 2011 for the treatment of moderate to severe refractory spasticity in multiple sclerosis. It is commonly used off label for the treatment of anorexia, nausea, and neuropathic pain. Patients can also apply for government permission to buy medicinal cannabis flowers for self-treatment under medical supervision. The most common side effects of cannabinoids are tiredness and dizziness (in more than 10% of patients), psychological effects, and dry mouth. Tolerance to these side effects nearly always develops within a short time. Withdrawal symptoms are hardly ever a problem in the therapeutic setting. Conclusion: There is now clear evidence that cannabinoids are useful for the treatment of various medical conditions.


Van Boxtel A.J.B.,Wageningen University | Perez-Lopez P.,Wageningen University | Perez-Lopez P.,University of Santiago de Compostela | Breitmayer E.,Nova Institute GmbH | Slegers P.M.,Wageningen University
Applied Energy | Year: 2015

Environmental impact is an essential aspect for the introduction of algae production systems. As information of large scale algae production is hardly available, process simulation is the only way to evaluate environmental sustainability in an early phase of process design. Simulation results allow the evaluation of production and design scenarios, and reveal the potential to improve the Life Cycle Performance of algae production systems. In this work, we discuss how choices in the process design of algae production systems (cultivation, biorefinery and the supply chain) advance LCA-results. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Van Boxtel A.J.B.,Wageningen University | Perez-Lopez P.,University of Santiago de Compostela | Breitmayer E.,Nova Institute GmbH | Slegers P.M.,Wageningen University
Applied Energy | Year: 2015

Environmental impact is an essential aspect for the introduction of algae production systems. As information of large scale algae production is hardly available, process simulation is the only way to evaluate environmental sustainability in an early phase of process design. Simulation results allow the evaluation of production and design scenarios, and reveal the potential to improve the Life Cycle Performance of algae production systems. In this work, we discuss how choices in the process design of algae production systems (cultivation, biorefinery and the supply chain) advance LCA-results. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


Tenne S.-J.,RWTH Aachen | Kinzel J.,RWTH Aachen | Arlt M.,RWTH Aachen | Sibilla F.,RWTH Aachen | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Chromatography B: Analytical Technologies in the Biomedical and Life Sciences | Year: 2013

β-Barrel shaped membrane proteins are attractive hosts for hybrid catalysts in which reactions are controlled through space. Production and extraction of β-barrel shaped membrane proteins in gram scale is challenging due to their hydrophobicity. Solvent mixtures such as chloroform/methanol (CM) are widely used for membrane protein extraction but toxicity and mutagenicity were reported in several cases. 2-Methyltetrahydrofuran (2-MeTHF) and cyclopentylmethylether (CPME) are two green (reduction of solvent-related environmental damage in chemical production) and potentially efficient solvents for membrane protein purification. On the example of the ferric hydroxamate uptake protein component A (FhuA) a 4-Step method was developed to provide gram amounts of highly purified FhuA: cell disruption (Step 1), removal of membrane protein impurities with n-octyl-poly-oxyethylene (oPOE) (Step 2), dissolution of membranes and FhuA precipitation (Step 3), and refolding using urea and dialysis with polyethylene-polyethyleneglycol (PE-PEG; Step 4) resulted in high FhuA purity (95% 2-MeTHF, 80% CPME; 70. mg FhuA per liter fermenter broth). Structural integrity of FhuA protein was confirmed by circular dichroism (CD) and a translocation functionality assay. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


PubMed | nova Institute GmbH
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Deutsches Arzteblatt international | Year: 2012

Cannabis-based medications have been a topic of intense study since the endogenous cannabinoid system was discovered two decades ago. In 2011, for the first time, a cannabis extract was approved for clinical use in Germany.Selective literature review.Cannabis-based medications exert their effects mainly through the activation of cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2). More than 100 controlled clinical trials of cannabinoids or whole-plant preparations for various indications have been conducted since 1975. The findings of these trials have led to the approval of cannabis-based medicines (dronabinol, nabilone, and a cannabis extract [THC:CBD=1:1]) in several countries. In Germany, a cannabis extract was approved in 2011 for the treatment of moderate to severe refractory spasticity in multiple sclerosis. It is commonly used off label for the treatment of anorexia, nausea, and neuropathic pain. Patients can also apply for government permission to buy medicinal cannabis flowers for self-treatment under medical supervision. The most common side effects of cannabinoids are tiredness and dizziness (in more than 10% of patients), psychological effects, and dry mouth. Tolerance to these side effects nearly always develops within a short time. Withdrawal symptoms are hardly ever a problem in the therapeutic setting.There is now clear evidence that cannabinoids are useful for the treatment of various medical conditions.

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