Gonzalez Research Group| Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering | University of South Florida

 ENB 118 | 4202 E Fowler Ave | Tampa,FL 33620

Phone: (813)-974-1223 | Email: ramongonzalez@usf.edu

PROJECTS

In the Gonzalez Lab, we are engineering native and synthetic pathways for the cost-effective bioconversion of sustainable feedstocks to fuels, chemicals, and natural products

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One-carbon (C1) compounds, including carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, formate, methanol, and methane, are attractive feedstocks for fuel and chemical production due to their availability and sustainability. However, the efficient and economical utilization of these feedstocks can be challenging for traditional chemical processes due, in part, to their diffuse nature. As a result, biological processes are gaining increased attention as alternatives due to safer, milder processing conditions and potential for scale-down, which may allow for decentralized, distributed chemical manufacturing that can make better use of these resources.  READ MORE

The structural and chemical diversity of plant natural products (PNPs) offers an enormous chemical space from which molecules with beneficial characteristics can be discovered and produced. To date, thousands of PNPs have been exploited for human benefit with applications ranging from drugs and nutraceuticals to industrial chemicals. However, agricultural and geographic variations and extraction of the desired compound(s) poses a significant challenge for cost-effective production due to the high cost associated with downstream processing and purification. READ MORE        

Economical industrialization of bio-based chemical production that have no petrochemical counterparts, such as alkylpolyglucoside and PLA polymers, highlights the importance of bio-based approaches to developing newly functionalized chemicals. The r-BOX platform is expected to play a crucial role in helping bio-based chemicals tackle competition from much cheaper counterparts derived from conventional fossil-based routes. READ MORE

In order to ensure the long-term viability of biorefineries, it is essential to go beyond the carbohydrate-based platform and develop complementing technologies capable of producing fuels and chemicals from a wide array of available materials. Glycerol, a readily available and inexpensive compound, is generated during biodiesel, oleochemical, and bioethanol production processes, making its conversion into value-added products of great interest. READ MORE