Award value: £10,00.00. Valorisation of waste biomass from local rural communities from the state of Morelos, Mexico.

  • Rios Solis, Leonardo (Principal Investigator)
  • Utrilla, Jose (Principal Investigator)
  • Rios Guerrero, Leonardo (Principal Investigator)

Project Details


The aim of this project was to tackle the challenges in the valorisation of local crops and waste biomass from the rural communities of the state of Morelos into high value products to strengthen the bio-economy and sustainability of Morelos rural communities.
This initial grant would be the first step to coordinate an international collaboration to tackle real world challenges involving the production of high value products (i.e medicines, probiotics, fragrances etc) using Mexican biomass waste or low cost local feedstocks in order to boost Mexican rural bio-economy.

Layman's description

This proposal seeks to address the challenges expressed by the Latin-American rural communities to valorise agriculture waste into bioenergy or high value products.
The proposed consortium had previously identified great opportunities to valorise agricultural waste through the engagement of local NGOs and local academic partners in Mexico.
In this grant, we will further expand this concept to the countries of Mexico and Ecuador to recycle old materials into affordable and sustainable bioreactors which could operate without the need of electricity, making them very suitable to be applied in the rural communities to valorise biomass into biofuels and high value products using engineered microbial cell factories.
By developing and adapting novel biotechnologies to valorise the bio-waste in Latin-American rural communities, This grant will contribute to the inclusive economic growth of these communities by providing access to sustainable jobs while creating clean and affordable bioenergy.

Key findings

The activities funded by this scheme were as follows:

• Visit of research student Elisa Marquez from Dr Jose Utrilla during March-5 April 2019. Elisa delivered a workshop on Systems Biology modelling tools to postgrads from both the Schools of Chemistry, Biology and Engineering

• Pilot study performed by Elisa Marquez in collaboration with the Edinburgh Genome foundry to gather pilot data to validate the previous Systems Biology models of S. cerevisiae strains producing anti-cancer drug by high throughput microscale bioreactors

• Visit of Dr Guerrero to Edinburgh from 28 May-1 June 2019 for delivering a workshop of the local biomass resources of the State of Morelos with local strategies and challenges to valorise those resources, as well as for discussions to coordinate the submission of grant proposal for external funding from CONACYT, GCRF and Newton funds
Effective start/end date25/03/1915/06/19


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