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Dr. Chenyu Du is a Reader in Chemical Engineering in the School of Applied Sciences at the University of Huddersfield. He was awarded a BEng in Chemical Engineering from Tsinghua University, China in 2010. Then he completed his PhD in 2005 in the department of Chemical Engineering in Tsinghua University. In 2006, he moved to the University of Manchester as a Postdoctoral Research Associate working on a platform chemical production from sustainable raw materials project (funded by EPSRC). In 2009, he joined a research and development company in London contributing to the development of the 2nd generation of biofuel. In June, 2010, he was appointed as lecturer in the University of Nottingham. He has been involved in the research pertaining to the Lignocellosic Conversion to Ethanol programme (LACE programme, funded by BBSRC Sustainable Bioenergy Centre). He was responsible for developing and directing a brand new MSc course on Sustainable Bioenergy. In January 2015, he moved to the University of Huddersfield, joining the newly established Chemical Engineering team.
Dr. Chenyu Du has more than 15 years research experience in fermentation, metabolic engineering, bioprocess development and simulation, bio-separation and biomass pretreatment. He has published 30+ high-impact publications, including 30+ papers, 2 patents and 5 book chapters. Since joined the University of Nottingham, he generated research income over £570 k as PI (including fully funded PhD studentships), £14.3 m as Co-PI and supervised, co-supervised 10 PhD students, 2 MRes students, 15+ MSc students and 15+ undergraduates.
At the University of Nottingham, Chenyu has been involved in the research pertaining to the Lignocellosic Conversion to Ethanol programme (LACE programme, funded by BBSRC Sustainable Bioenergy Centre). He developed a solid state fungal fermentation based pre-treatment strategy to convert lignocellulosic raw materials into a mixture of fermentable simple sugars. In this process, cellulolytic enzymes were produced by culturing fungus (Aspergillus niger) directly on the surface of the biomass. Then, the fresh enzymes were immediately used to hydrolyze the fermented biomass. This biological pre-treatment strategy has been applied to various organic wastes and dedicated energy crops, including wheat straw, willow, miscanthus, palm oil tree branches, napier, sago extract and municipal solid waste. In comparison with typical pre-treatment method (e.g. dilute acid pre-treatment), the biological pre-treatment is energy efficient, cost effective and produces no inhibitors. He also worked on the yeast strain screening, genetic modification and yeast viability improvement. Several interesting marine yeast strains have been isolated, which showed interesting fermentation capacity on seaweed based hydrolysate media.
He was a research associate in the University of Manchester from 2006 to 2009, working on a platform chemical production from sustainable raw materials project (funded by EPSRC). He developed four biorefinery strategies to convert wheat or wheat milling by-products into microbial generic feedstocks based on submerged fungal fermentation or solid-state fungal fermentation. He also designed small scale anaerobic fermenters and adapted bench-top fermenters to continuous, fed-batch, immobilised fermentations. More than 65 g/L succinic acid could be produced using only nature-derived media. In order to obtain pure succinic acid, an ion-exchanged pre-treated direct crystallisation method was developed, and both the raw fermentation broth and purified succinic acid were converted to value-added chemicals via green chemistry processes. He also worked on a Home-Grown Cereals Authority (HGCA) funded project at the University of Manchester. A framework was established for evaluating opportunities for co-product production and process integration in wheat biorefineries, in particular, for extracting arabinoxylans from wheat bran within a bioethanol production plant.
While he PhD studied in Tsinghua University, his research focused on the 1,3-propanediol biosynthesis from glycerol. The 1,3-propanediol production was enhanced from 15 g/L at the beginning to 81 g/L, which was one of the highest results reported by then. Redox potential was innovatively introduced to 1,3-propanediol biosynthesis system as a parameter to monitor and control fermentation processes. And a novel redox potential-based screening strategy was developed for the isolation of mutant strains with an improved desired phenotype. He also proposed a mechanism for ORP regulation. In order to further improve 1,3-propanediol production, the gene encoding acetaldehyde dehydrogenase was knocked out by inserting a tetracycline resistance gene to block the pathway from Acetyl-CoA to alcohol. Then a heterogeneous formate dehydrogenase gene was overepxressed in a mutated 1,3-propanediol producing strain Klebsiella oxytoca YMU1, leading to enhanced intracellular concentrations of both NADH and NAD. The metabolic flux analysis result showed that fluxes from glycerol to 1,3-propanediol was significantly enhanced. Recently, the genome of Klebsiella oxytoca M5al was sequenced and published.
Oshoma, C., Greetham, D., Louis, E., Smart, K., Phister, T., Powell, C. and Du, C. (2015) ‘Screening of Non- Saccharomyces cerevisiae Strains for Tolerance to Formic Acid in Bioethanol Fermentation’ PLoS ONE . ISSN 1932-6203
Huang, X., LI, Z., Du, C., Wang, J. and Lu, S. (2015) ‘Improved Expression and Characterization of a Multidomain Xylanase from Thermoanaerobacterium aotearoense SCUT27 in Bacillus subtilis’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry , 63 (28), pp. 6430-6439. ISSN 0021-8561
Kostas, E., White, D., Du, C. and Cooke, D. (2015) ‘Selection of yeast strains for bioethanol production from UK seaweeds’ Journal of Applied Phycology . ISSN 0921-8971
Yang, F., Yang, X., LI, Z., Du, C., Wang, J. and Li, S. (2015) ‘Overexpression and characterization of a glucose-tolerant ?-glucosidase from T. aotearoense with high specific activity for cellobiose’ Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology . ISSN 0175-7598
Mafe, O., Davies, S., Hancock, J. and Du, C. (2015) ‘Development of an estimation model for the evaluation of the energy requirement of dilute acid pretreatments of biomass’ Biomass and Bioenergy , 72, pp. 28-38. ISSN 0961-9534
Zaky, A., Tucker, G., Daw, Z. and Du, C. (2014) ‘Marine yeast isolation and industrial application’ FEMS Yeast Research , 14 (6), pp. 813-825. ISSN 15671356
Mafe, O., Pensupa, N., Roberts, E. and Du, C. (2014) ‘Advanced Generation of Bioenergy’. In: Renewable Resources for Biorefineries. : Royal Society of Chemistry. pp. 117-145. ISBN 978-1-84973-898-9
Koutinas, A., Du, C., Lin, S. and Webb, C. (2014) ‘Developments in cereal-based biorefineries’. In: Advances in Biorefineries. : Woodhead Publishing. pp. 303-334. ISBN 978-0-85709-521-3
Koutinas, A., Lin, S., Du, C. and Webb, C. (2014) ‘Whole crop biorefinery’. In: Sustainable Bioenergy Production. : CRC Press. pp. 501-534. ISBN 978-1466505520
Du, C. and El-Imam, A. (2014) ‘Fermentative Itaconic Acid Production’ Journal of Biodiversity, Bioprospecting and Development , 01 (02). ISSN 2376-0214
Pensupa, N., Jin, M., Kokolski, M., Archer, D. and Du, C. (2013) ‘A solid state fungal fermentation-based strategy for the hydrolysis of wheat straw’ Bioresource Technology , 149, pp. 261-267. ISSN 09608524
Bao, G., Zhang, Y., Du, C., Chen, Z., Li, Y., Cao, Z. and Ma, Y. (2013) ‘Genome Sequence of Klebsiella oxytoca M5al, a Promising Strain for Nitrogen Fixation and Chemical Production’ Genome Announcements , 1 (1), pp. e00074-12. ISSN 2169-8287
Lin, C., Luque, R., Clark, J., Webb, C. and Du, C. (2012) ‘Wheat-based biorefining strategy for fermentative production and chemical transformations of succinic acid’ Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining , 6 (1), pp. 88-104. ISSN 1932-104X
Du, C., Sabirova, J., Soetaert, W. and Ki Carol Lin, S. (2012) ‘Polyhydroxyalkanoates Production From Low-cost Sustainable Raw Materials’ Current Chemical Biology , 6 (1), pp. 14-25. ISSN 2212-7968
Lin, C., Luque, R., Clark, J., Webb, C. and Du, C. (2011) ‘A seawater-based biorefining strategy for fermentative production and chemical transformations of succinic acid’ Energy & Environmental Science , 4 (4), pp. 1471-1479. ISSN 1754-5692
Du, C. and Webb, C. (2011) ‘Cellular Systems’. In: Comprehensive Biotechnology (Second Edition). : Elsevier. pp. 11-23. ISBN 9780444533524
Lin, S., Du, C., Blaga, A., Camarut, M., Webb, C., Stevens, C. and Soetaert, W. (2010) ‘Novel resin-based vacuum distillation-crystallisation method for recovery of succinic acid crystals from fermentation broths’ Green Chemistry , 12 (4), p. 666. ISSN 1463-9262
Misailidis, N., Campbell, G., Du, C., Sadhukhan, J., Mustafa, M., Mateos-Salvador, F. and Weightman, R. (2009) ‘Evaluating the feasibility of commercial arabinoxylan production in the context of a wheat biorefinery principally producing ethanol: Part 2. Process simulation and economic analysis’ Chemical Engineering Research and Design , 87 (9), pp. 1239-1250. ISSN 0263-8762
Du, C., Campbell, G., Misailidis, N., Mateos-Salvador, F., Sadhukhan, J., Mustafa, M. and Weightman, R. (2009) ‘Evaluating the feasibility of commercial arabinoxylan production in the context of a wheat biorefinery principally producing ethanol. Part 1. Experimental studies of arabinoxylan extraction from wheat bran’ Chemical Engineering Research and Design , 87 (9), pp. 1232-1238. ISSN 0263-8762
Zhang, Y., Huang, Z., Du, C., Li, Y. and Cao, Z. (2009) ‘Introduction of an NADH regeneration system into Klebsiella oxytoca leads to an enhanced oxidative and reductive metabolism of glycerol’ Metabolic Engineering , 11 (2), pp. 101-106. ISSN 1096-7176
Luque, R., Lin, C., Du, C., Macquarrie, D., Koutinas, A., Wang, R., Webb, C. and Clark, J. (2009) ‘Chemical transformations of succinic acid recovered from fermentation broths by a novel direct vacuum distillation-crystallisation method’ Green Chem. , 11 (2), pp. 193-200. ISSN 1463-9262
Dorado, M., Lin, S., Koutinas, A., Du, C., Wang, R. and Webb, C. (2009) ‘Cereal-based biorefinery development: Utilisation of wheat milling by-products for the production of succinic acid’ Journal of Biotechnology , 143 (1), pp. 51-59. ISSN 0168-1656
Du, C., Lin, S., Koutinas, A., Wang, R., Dorado, P. and Webb, C. (2008) ‘A wheat biorefining strategy based on solid-state fermentation for fermentative production of succinic acid’ Bioresource Technology , 99 (17), pp. 8310-8315. ISSN 0960-8524
Koutinas, A., Du, C., Wang, R. and Webb, C. (2008) ‘Production of Chemicals from Biomass’. In: Introduction to Chemicals from Biomass. : John Wiley & Sons. pp. 77-101. ISBN 9780470058053
Sadhukhan, J., Mustafa, M., Misailidis, N., Mateos-Salvador, F., Du, C. and Campbell, G. (2008) ‘Value analysis tool for feasibility studies of biorefineries integrated with value added production’ Chemical Engineering Science , 63 (2), pp. 503-519. ISSN 0009-2509
Lin, S., Du, C., Koutinas, A., Wang, R. and Webb, C. (2008) ‘Substrate and product inhibition kinetics in succinic acid production by Actinobacillus succinogenes’ Biochemical Engineering Journal , 41 (2), pp. 128-135. ISSN 1369-703X
Du, C., Lin, S., Clark, J. and Webb, C. (2007) ‘Platform chemical production from wheat-based biorefining strategy’ Journal of Biotechnology , 131 (2), pp. 131-145. ISSN 0168-1656
Du, C., Zhang, Y., Li, Y. and Cao, Z. (2007) ‘Novel Redox Potential-Based Screening Strategy for Rapid Isolation of Klebsiella pneumoniae Mutants with Enhanced 1,3-Propanediol-Producing Capability’ Applied and Environmental Microbiology , 73 (14), pp. 4515-4521. ISSN 0099-2240
Du, C., Lin, S., Koutinas, A., Wang, R. and Webb, C. (2007) ‘Succinic acid production from wheat using a biorefining strategy’ Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology , 76 (6), pp. 1263-1270. ISSN 0175-7598
Huang, Z., Zhang, Y., Du, C., Huang, X. and Cao, Z. (2007) ‘Improvement of 1,3-Propanediol Production with a Recombinant Strain Klebsiella pneumoniae F-1 by Regulating Redox Potential’ The Chinese Journal of Process Engineering (5), pp. 1014-1017. ISSN 1009-606X
Zhang, Y., Li, Y., Du, C., Liu, M. and Cao, Z. (2006) ‘Inactivation of aldehyde dehydrogenase: A key factor for engineering 1,3-propanediol production by Klebsiella pneumoniae’ Metabolic Engineering , 8 (6), pp. 578-586. ISSN 1096-7176
Du, C., Yan, H., Zhang, Y., Li, Y. and Cao, Z. (2006) ‘Use of oxidoreduction potential as an indicator to regulate 1,3-propanediol fermentation by Klebsiella pneumoniae’ Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology , 69 (5), pp. 554-563. ISSN 0175-7598
Wang, B., Liu, M., Du, C., Shen, J. and Cao, Z. (2006) ‘Recent Developments in Microbial Metabolic Engineering for the Production of 1,3-Propanediol’ The Chinese Journal of Process Engineering , 6 (1), pp. 144-149. ISSN 1009-606X
Zhang, Y., Du, C., Huang, Z., Liu, M. and Cao, Z. (2006) ‘Effects of aldehyde dehydrogenase gene knockout on 1,3-propanediol production by Klebsiella pneumoniae’ Journal of Chemical Industry and Engineering , 57 (11), pp. 2686-2692. ISSN 0438-1157
Zhang, Y., Liu, M., Du, C., Shen, J. and Cao, Z. (2006) ‘Effect of By-products on Cell Growth and Biosynthesis of 1,3-Propanediol by Klebsiella pneumoniae’ The Chinese Journal of Process Engineering , 8 (6), pp. 578-586. ISSN 1009-606X
Wang, B., Liu, M., Du, C., Huang, Z., Shen, J. and Cao, Z. (2006) ‘Screening of Klebsiella pneumoniae Mutation for the Production of 1,3-Propanediol’ China Biotechnology , 26 (6), pp. 59-65. ISSN 2333-9721
Zhang, Y., Du, C., Rao, Z. and Cao, Z. (2005) ‘Regulation of Vitamin C and Vitamin E on the Biosynthesis of 1,3-Propanediol by Klebsiella pneumoniae’ The Chinese Journal of Process Engineering , 5 (2), pp. 199-200. ISSN 1009-606X
Du, C., Liu, M., Rao, Z., Bao, X., Shen, J. and Cao, Z. (2005) ‘Effect of Alternative Aeration on Key Enzymes and Coenzymes in 1,3-Propanediol Production by Klebsiella pneumoniae’ The Chinese Journal of Process Engineering , 5 (5), pp. 544-548. ISSN 1009-606X
Du, C., Li, C., Yang, D., Zhang, Y. and Cao, Z. (2004) ‘Biocatalysis coupled cell growth process in 1,3-propanediol production by Klebsiella pneumonia’ Journal of Chemical Industry and Engineering , 55 (3), pp. 505-508. ISSN 0438-1157
Zhang, Y., Rao, Z., Du, C., Li, C. and Cao, Z. (2004) ‘Effect of ATP Addition on 1,3-Propanediol Biosynthesis from Glycerol by Klebsiella pneumoniae’ The Chinese Journal of Process Engineering , 4 (6), pp. 571-575. ISSN 1009-606X
Yang, D., Li, C., Du, C., Zhang, Y. and Cao, Z. (2003) ‘Production of 1,3-Propanediol by Klebsiella pneumoniae in Two Stage Two Substrate Fermentation’ The Chinese Journal of Process Engineering , 3 (3), pp. 269-273. ISSN 1009-606X
Du, C., Li, C., Zhang, M. and Cao, Z. (2003) ‘Application and development of industry biocatalysis process and biocatalysts’ Chinese Journal of Chemical Industry and Engineering (4), pp. 456-463.