24 August 2015

The Isobutene process successfully uses xylose, the “wood sugar”

Global Bioenergies produced isobutene by fermentation based exclusively on xylose as a feedstock

The isobutene process was first developed by Global Bioenergies using glucose derived from cereals such as wheat or corn. Early in 2015, the company announced that the process was compatible with crude “second generation” sugars derived from agricultural and forestry waste. These resources are composed of a complex mix of various sugars including glucose, a six-carbon molecule, and sugars composed of five carbon atoms and in particular xylose, literally “wood sugar”.

Global Bioenergies announces today having produced isobutene by fermentation based exclusively on xylose as a feedstock. The performances using xylose were similar to those obtained when running the process on wheat-derived glucose or sugar beet-derived sucrose. The production strain’s central metabolism has been fundamentally remodeled using an innovative synthetic biology approach.

Frédéric Pâques, Chief Operations Officer of Global Bioenergies declares: “We continue to diversify the resources compatible with the isobutene process. Our process shows limited sensitivity to second generation impurities. In addition, it appears robust and highly adaptable to various resources.”

Marc Delcourt, CEO of Global Bioenergies concludes: “The valorization of agricultural and forestry waste is a nascent industry which represents an important opportunity for Global Bioenergies. Once they are available in large quantities, these affordable resources would enable further reduction of bio-isobutene production costs and facilitate technology deployment in the context of volatile petrochemical prices.”




Global Bioenergies is one of the few companies worldwide, and the only one in Europe, that is developing a process to convert renewable resources into hydrocarbons through fermentation. The Company initially focused its efforts on the production of isobutene, one of the most important petrochemical building blocks that can be converted into fuels, plastics, organic glass and elastomers. Global Bioenergies continues to improve the performances of its process, operates its industrial pilot, has begun the construction of its demo plant in Germany, and prepares the first full-scale plant through a Joint-Venture with Cristal Union, named IBN-One. The company also replicated its achievement to propylene and butadiene, two members of the gaseous olefins family, key molecules at the heart of petrochemical industry. Global Bioenergies is listed on Alternext, Euronext Paris (FR0011052257 – ALGBE).

Source: Global Bioenergies, press release, 2015-08-19.


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