Wacker looks to glycerol for cysteine production

19 March 2008 02:28  [Source: ICIS news]

MUNICH (ICIS news) – Wacker Chemie is seeking to produce amino acid using glycerol feedstock in place of glucose feedstock, said a senior executive on Tuesday.

"We now have comparable yields to glucose-based production in our research fermenters," said Gunter Wich, director of biotechnology and corporate R&D, at Wacker's international press briefing in Munich. "We anticipate commercialization in a few years as we optimize the process."

Glycerol feedstock, a byproduct of the biodiesel production process, is much cheaper than glucose feedstock, said Wich.

Every 1,000 tonnes of biodiesel produced yields of about 100 kilogrammes of glycerol, he said, adding that the company is the world's leading producer of cysteine.

Wacker currently produces cysteine in Slovakia under a toll arrangement, senior vice president of corporate innovations Fridolin Stary said.

He added that no decision had been reached on whether to produce cysteine using the new process at its facility in Burghausen, Germany.

By: Joseph Chang
+1 713 525 2653

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