Bio4Fuels Insights

  • In the biorefinery, Line Degn Hansen is converting biomass from spruce trees into sugars that are in turn converted into a protein-rich yeast biomass by fermentation.
    Gunn Evy Auestad

In April every year the FMEs hand in an Annual Report. In the coming weeks we will present articles from the "Bio4Fuels Insights" in the Bio4Fuels Annual Report 2017. First out is PhD Student Line Degns Hansen at NMBU.

Bio4Fuels Insights

PhD Student Line Degn Hansen

  • Working at: the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)
  • Research group: Bioprocess, technology and biorefining (BioRef)
  • Work Package: WP2.5 - Enzymatic Saccharification
  • Supervisors: Aniko Varnai, Svein Jarle Horn and Vincent Eijsink
  • BSc: Biochemistry (Copenhagen University)
  • MSc: Food Biotechnology and Biorefining (Wageningen University)


Line is one of six PhD students who was recruited to Bio4Fuels in 2017. Her aim is to optimize and characterize cellulose / hemicellulose degrading enzymes using Norwegian spruce as raw material. WP2.5 is in close cooperation with industry partners in Bio4Fuels, receiving raw material from Borregaard,St1 and RISE-PFI and enzymes from Novozymes®. Line’s research involves optimizing enzymes in both bench-scale and pre-pilot plant scale (at the NMBU biorefinery). She analyzes performance of enzyme blends under varying conditions with respect to co-reactants, temperature, pH, reaction length etc.Line receives feedstock from St1 in the form of pre-treated Norwegian spruce. To degrade the cellulose and the hemicellulose in this material she uses enzymes in the form of 
- commercially available enzyme cocktails from Novozymes® 
- selected enzymes designed locally at NMBU including lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases (LPMOs).

Using commercially available enzyme cocktails is sometimes a challenge given their proprietary nature. On the other hand, these enzyme cocktails have been thoroughly tested and are already in industrial use. The “in-house” designed enzymes are the result of protein engineering and directed evolution of key enzymes involved in biomass processing in bacteria and fungi. Line is currently testing the most promising of these enzymes in laboratory-scale analysis. Once she has established enzyme reactions with a certain efficiency, she can scale up her saccharification experiments to small pilot scale in the biorefinery at NMBU.

Published 27. April 2018 - 10:12 - Updated 18. May 2018 - 8:32

Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)

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