Genomatica, a leader in sustainable chemicals, announced that it has successfully produced Bio-BDO from its first demonstration-scale fermentation, on schedule. The fermentation was performed in a 13,000 liter tank in Decatur, Ill., at the facility of partner Tate & Lyle. This achievement comes just three months after the partnership agreement was announced. Continued success during the demonstration-scale stage will validate the design and basic engineering package for construction of the first commercial-scale plant.
“This marks another milestone on our rapid path to commercialization”, said Christophe Schilling, CEO of Genomatica. “We expect to be in commercial production in late 2012, with world-scale plants in the U.S., Europe and Asia starting in 2014.”
Tate & Lyle, recognized leader in scale-up, confirms rapid progress and potential
“We are very pleased with the rapid scale-up of the Bio-BDO demonstration project at our Decatur plant,” said Matt Wineinger, President, Bulk Ingredients, Tate & Lyle. “The success of the first demonstration run is another important step toward Genomatica’s commercialization of this product.”
Genomatica progress recognized by DOE grant and at major conference and peer-reviewed science journal
Genomatica’s progress has been repeatedly recognized in recent days, including:
- Winning a Department of Energy grant, to convert biomass to BDO.
- An invitation for CEO Schilling to speak at the Reuters 2011 Global Energy & Climate Change Summit in Houston on June 13th. This marked the first time a sustainable chemicals company has been invited to a Reuters Summit, where Schilling joined a list of high-profile industry executives, including David Weidman, CEO, Celanese, and Jim Gallogly, CEO, LyondellBasell, to brief business editors and reporters for the Reuters news service.
- Publication of a feature article on Genomatica’s technology in the peer-reviewed Nature Chemical Biology, reflecting a level of broad significance and meeting the high standards for publication in scientific journals from the Nature Publishing Group. The article describes Genomatica’s accomplishment – the first time that BDO, a major industrial chemical that is produced and sold in billions of pounds per year, has been made directly by a biological organism from renewable carbohydrate feedstocks.
In addition, at the recent BIO World Congress conference in Toronto, Genomatica disclosed it had achieved a milestone 100 grams per liter (100 g/L) in BDO production, more than five times greater than the result featured in the Nature Chemical Biology paper, providing a strong leading indicator of the superior economics Genomatica is planning to deliver. Additionally at the BIO conference, Genomatica spoke at a plenary session with partner Mitsubishi Chemical; introduced another plenary session; and participated in three panel sessions, including one that presented an example of a complete renewables-based value chain, with Ford, SABIC, and partner Tate & Lyle.
Genomatica is a leader in sustainable chemicals: ‘greener’ intermediate and basic chemicals made from renewable feedstocks, rather than oil and gas. The company aims to transform the chemical industry by making the exact same high-volume products at the heart of the trillion-dollar industry, but with better economics and a smaller environmental footprint. Genomatica was named one of ‘10 Big Green Ideas’ by Newsweek, and was featured on Forbes.com.
Genomatica is in demonstration-scale production of its first product, Bio-BDO, through a strategic partnership with Tate & Lyle. BDO, an intermediate chemical with a $4 billion market worldwide, is used to make spandex, automotive plastics, running shoes and more.
Genomatica’s integrated bio-process engineering platform and extensive intellectual property allow it to rapidly develop organisms and processes to produce dozens of the highest-volume intermediate and basic chemicals from renewable feedstocks, like sugars, and later, from biomass and syngas.
Genomatica has raised $84 million from investors including Alloy Ventures, Bright Capital, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, Mohr Davidow Ventures, TPG Biotech, VantagePoint Venture Partners and Waste Management. Genomatica has announced agreements with Tate & Lyle, Mitsubishi Chemical, Gruppo M&G and Waste Management.
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Source: Genomatica, Inc., press release, 2011-06-14.