Richard Sparling

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Development of sustainable energy systems based on renewable biomass feedstocks is now a global effort. Lignocellulosic biomass contains polymers of cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin, bound together in a complex structure. Liquid biofuels, such as ethanol, can be made from biomass via fermentation of sugars derived from the cellulose and hemicellulose(More)
In Escherichia coli, the transcription factor sigma s, encoded by rpoS, controls the expression of a large number of genes involved in cellular responses to a diverse number of stresses, including starvation, osmotic stress, acid shock, cold shock, heat shock, oxidative DNA damage, and transition to stationary phase. A list of over 50 genes under the(More)
Consolidated bioprocessing (CBP) is a system in which cellulase production, substrate hydrolysis, and fermentation are accomplished in a single process step by cellulolytic microorganisms. CBP offers the potential for lower biofuel production costs due to simpler feedstock processing, lower energy inputs, and higher conversion efficiencies than separate(More)
Fermentative bacteria offer the potential to convert lignocellulosic waste-streams into biofuels such as hydrogen (H2) and ethanol. Current fermentative H2 and ethanol yields, however, are below theoretical maxima, vary greatly among organisms, and depend on the extent of metabolic pathways utilized. For fermentative H2 and/or ethanol production to become(More)
Growth and TAG production by Yarrowia lipolytica were compared for cells cultured in nitrogen-complete medium containing waste glycerol derived from biodiesel production, as well as pure glycerol, dextrose, or canola oil as the carbon sources. Growth and TAG production were also analyzed for Y. lipolytica cells cultured in nitrogen-limited media containing(More)
Two bench-scale parallel moving bed biofilm reactors (MBBR) were operated to assess pH-associated anammox activity changes during long term treatment of anaerobically digested sludge centrate pre-treated in a suspended growth partial nitrification reactor. The pH was maintained at 6.5 in reactor R1, while it was allowed to vary naturally between 7.5 and 8.1(More)
Methanogenic bacteria are known to use NH+4 as a nitrogen source for growth. Previous work with an impure methanogenic culture suggested that a methanogen might fix atmospheric dinitrogen as a nitrogen source, but no further work on this phenomenon has been documented. We have now examined the use of N2 by Methanococcus thermolithotrophicus and find that(More)
At a sea-based, solid waste disposal site, methanogenic organisms were quantified by molecular approaches. The samples collected for analysis were from anaerobic leachate of the landfill site. When the DNA extracted from the leachate was examined by a quantitative PCR method using domain-specific 16S rDNA primers, archaeal DNA represented 2-3% of the total(More)
End-product synthesis and enzyme activities involved in pyruvate catabolism, H(2) synthesis, and ethanol production in mid-log (OD(600) approximately 0.25), early stationary (OD(600) approximately 0.5), and stationary phase (OD(600) approximately 0.7) cell extracts were determined in Clostridium thermocellum ATCC 27405 grown in batch cultures on cellobiose.(More)
Clostridium thermocellum is a gram-positive, acetogenic, thermophilic, anaerobic bacterium that degrades cellulose and carries out mixed product fermentation, catabolising cellulose to acetate, lactate, and ethanol under various growth conditions, with the concomitant release of H2 and CO2. Very little is known about the factors that determine metabolic(More)