Calysta Energy™, a new company, today announced it has been established to use natural gas, an advantaged feedstock, to develop new liquid transportation fuels and high value chemicals that are cost-effective, scalable and reduce environmental impact. Current technology approaches to creating new fuels and chemicals have failed to achieve necessary market economics, creating a significant worldwide market opportunity.
Calysta’s proprietary biological gas-to-liquids™ (BioGTL™) platform uses methane, an energy-rich component of natural gas, as a new biological feedstock that is virtually untapped as an energy source outside of heating and electricity generation. Natural gas, one of the world’s most abundant forms of energy, does not compete with food, land or water resources.
Alan Shaw, Ph.D, a veteran industrial biotechnology executive, is leading the Calysta team as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, partnered with Josh Silverman, Ph.D., an innovative technology leader with broad experience in biotechnology startup ventures, as Chief Scientific Officer. Dr. Shaw joins Calysta from a decade as President and CEO of Codexis, a developer of cost-advantaged processes for biochemical, biofuel and pharmaceutical production with global customers including Merck, Pfizer, Chemtex and Raizen. Dr. Silverman, who is also co-founder, established and led R&D partnerships and product development collaborations for five biotechnology companies, including Avidia through acquisition by Amgen.
“Natural gas is an abundant, ideal source of low-cost carbon, and global natural gas production is expected to double in the next 30 years,” Dr. Shaw said. “However, practical technology to efficiently capture its potential beyond current usage has not been developed. Using our advanced biotechnology platform, Calysta is focused on enabling creation of economical fuels and chemicals from natural gas for the first time, addressing a global market need.”
About Calysta’s BioGTL™ Technology
Calysta is focusing on development of methane as a new biological feedstock for cost-competitive, scalable biofuels and chemicals production. Methane is widely available from large domestic deposits of shale gas, as well as landfills and other sources. Calysta’s BioGTL™ technology uses sophisticated biological engineering to create valuable cost and performance advantages over current biological and chemical processes. Using the BioGTL™ technology platform, Calysta is developing proprietary organisms to economically convert methane into liquid hydrocarbons, the building blocks of higher-value, easily transportable fuels and chemicals.
About Natural Gas Supply
Worldwide, the IEA estimates that natural gas could account for more than 25 percent of global energy demand by 2035. Increased exploration and improved technology have led to substantial new natural gas discoveries in recent years. US natural gas reserves rose by 12% to 318 trillion cubic feet in 2010, according the US Dept. of Energy. Natural gas reserves now exceed conventional gas reserves in major countries including the US, Canada and China. Current technology to convert natural gas to chemical building blocks required for fuel and chemical production is cumbersome and impractical, creating a market opportunity for new technology applications.
About Launch of Calysta Website & Advisory Board
Calysta Energy also announced the launch of its new website, www.calystaenergy.com, which contains further information on the company, its technology and markets, and media resources. In addition, Calysta has formed a prestigious Advisory Board of leading academic and industry experts in biotechnology, biocatalysis and fuel and chemical development.
About Calysta Energy
Calysta Energy, LLC., Menlo Park, CA., is developing a new biological gas-to-liquids™ (BioGTL™) technology using methane – an energy-rich component of natural gas – as a new biological feedstock for transportation fuels and high value industrial chemicals. The company is a spinout of DNA 2.0, the largest US-based provider of synthetic genes for industrial and academic use.
Source: Calysta Energy™, press release, 2012-10-22.