Biohydrolysis of soybean to improve livestock feed and biodiesel production
Animal healthAnimal nutritionNutrient management
Parent Project:
This is the first year of this project.
Lead Principal Investigator:
Paul Blum, University of Nebraska
Co-Principal Investigators:
Project Code:
Contributing Organization (Checkoff):
Institution Funded:
Brief Project Summary:
A University of Nebraska microbiologist specializing in extremophile microbes has developed a proprietary, thermostable enzyme cocktail called Extremase on behalf of the Nebraska Soybean Board. This enzyme allows for increased soybean oil extraction and is reusable, resulting in more high-value products from soybean processing and dramatic cost savings. The cocktail is utilized during biohydrolysis, which breaks down the long chains of sugars found in soybeans into fermentable sugar that can then be used in other soybean by-products. The microbes used to create the enzyme cocktail come from geothermal hot springs, where the conditions mimic soybean processing.
Key Beneficiaries:
#economists, #scientists, #Soybean processors
Unique Keywords:
#animal nutrition, #enzyme cocktail, #enzymes, #extremase, #extremophile, #fermentable sugar, #high-value products, #microbes, #soybean by-products, #soybean oil extraction, #soybean processing
Information And Results
Project Summary

In the U.S., over 4 billion bushels of soybean are produced each year. Of this, 70% are used as animal feed, and about 5% are used to make the renewable fuel biodiesel. Dry beans are used directly as animal feed because they are composed of proteins, oil, and carbohydrates. For biodiesel, soybean seeds are processed to separate oil and the remnant protein, and carbohydrates used for animal feed. Carbohydrates include non-starch polysaccharides (NSP), such as cellulose, hemicellulose, and pectin, and non-structural carbohydrates, such as starch, and different mono-, di-, and oligosaccharides. Structural carbohydrates are more predominant and insoluble, and their solubility affects their digestibility in livestock. These carbohydrates can be broken down into their component sugar monomers by biohydrolysis. Biohydrolysis is an enzyme treatment that solubilizes and produces digestible sugar. We propose to test the benefit of adding a processing step whereby an enzyme cocktail called Extremase solubilizes and converts NSPs into digestible sugars for animal feed and improves the release of additional soy oil for biodiesel.

Project Objectives

We will conduct a technoeconomic analysis to determine the cost and benefit of the additional processing step. Extremase extracts sugars from all carbohydrates because it uses extreme process conditions (high temperature, low pH). Extremase is a blend of microbial enzymes currently under evaluation for use in corn fiber processing (funding from the Nebraska Corn Board) and demonstrated previously to solubilize many sources of cellulose. Extremase could improve the digestibility of soybean NSP and increase its nutritive value, and improve fractionation of oil from carbohydrates for biodiesel production. Since approximately half of the total carbohydrates in soybeans are structural carbohydrates (cellulose, hemicellulose, and pectins), the use of Extremase may improve multiple targets at once.

Project Deliverables

Progress Of Work

Final Project Results

Benefit To Soybean Farmers

Extremase would allow for an increase in the digestibility of the processed-seeds in livestock feed. This would increase demand for soybeans which would benefit the soybean farmers. In addition to that, Extremase enzyme cocktail allows the breakdown of insoluble carbohydrates in soybeans, which improves fractionation of proteins and oil from such carbohydrates. The increased liberation of oil from soybean seeds would improve biodiesel production, thereby increasing the market of soybeans.

The United Soybean Research Retention policy will display final reports with the project once completed but working files will be purged after three years. And financial information after seven years. All pertinent information is in the final report or if you want more information, please contact the project lead at your state soybean organization or principal investigator listed on the project.