Webinar on cascading conversion of ligno-cellulosic recalcitrant residues: screening for efficient biocatalysts

Broadcast date: July 4, 2019 - Time: 2:00 pm, CET

European Union’s Horizon 2020 project Zelcor aims at finding a sustainable technical solution for the conversion of the recalcitrant by-products present in the side streams of lingo-cellulosic biorefineries.

Zelcor concept is to combine this biological conversion route with chemical and enzymatic catalyses, in order to develop an integrated flexible biorefinery system for the conversion of heterogeneous and variable recalcitrant by-products. The system is expected to provide several high added-value intermediate bioproducts available for the formulation of coating materials, packaging plastics and cosmetics.

The project overviews a ‘zero-waste’ goal through a cascading approach based on sequential fractionation, depolymerisation and refining, with valorisation of the streams generated at each stage. The Zelcor project consortium comprises 17 organizations from 8 European countries. This public-private partnership benefits a 4-year funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, through the “Zero-waste ligno-cellulosic biorefineries by integrated lignin valorisation” project (Zelcor, 2016-2020).

In this Zelcor webinar, we will hear from leading scientists who will present the project progress development of a cascading conversion process and to highlight advances concerning the identification of efficient biocatalysts.


More details of the topics and speakers

BaumbergerProf. Stephanie Baumberger (AgroParisTech/INRA)

Prof. Baumberger will address the general concept of the Zelcor project. Zelcor aims at demonstrating the feasibility of transforming lignin-rich recalcitrant side streams from lingo-cellulose biorefinery into high added-value biobased products. Its concept is to combine chemical and enzymatic catalysis with insects-based bioconversion, within a “zero waste”cascading approach. Her presentation will explain the concept and illustrate it through some results out of the project.


LefebvreDr. Thomas Lefebvre (Ynsect):

Dr. Lefebvre will talk about termite digestomes and bioreactors for conversion of ligno-cellulosic recalcitrant residues. Termites are the most efficient animals for the bioconversion of ligno-cellulosic materials including lignin-rich substrates. Their gut could be considered as tiny bioreactor where the digestion of recalcitrant plant residues is carried out by complex interactions between the termite and its diverse microbiota. Termite digestomes are now better and better described and figure as promising reservoirs of microorganisms and molecules that could be used for applications in biotechnology. The presentation will (i) give an overview of the termite gut microbiota; (ii) summarize the strategies involved in the degradation of lignocellulose in the digestive system and (iii) provide some feedbacks on the ongoing research activities related to the Zelcor project.

BuggProf. Tim Bugg (The University of Warwick)

Prof. Bugg will describe the enzyme screening for lignin conversion. His talk will describe the discovery of bacterial lignin-degrading enzymes, such as Dyp-type peroxidases and manganese superoxide dismutase from Sphingobacterium sp. He will discuss the screening of these enzymes for bioconversion of different types of lignins, and the analysis of the products of the enzymatic conversion.

A live Q&A session will follow the presentations, offering you a chance to pose questions to our expert panelists.

To register the webinar, fill out the registration form here. Further information and updates regarding the webinar link and password will be send to the registered Email address.



This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 720303.


nova-Institute, press release, 2019-06-19.


Bio-based Industries (BBI) Joint Undertaking
French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA)
Horizon 2020
University of Warwick