GlycosBio develops biochems from fatty acid fermentation

15 September 2010 20:52  [Source: ICIS news]

BOSTON (ICIS)--US biochemical company Glycos Biotechnologies (GlycosBio) said on Wednesday that it was able to develop biofuels and biochemicals from fermentation of fatty acids.

The company was able to produce ethanol, butanol, acetone, acetate, isopropanol, succinate and propionate from fatty acids.

“This discovery not only demonstrates that fatty acids can be a good alternative to cellulosic sugars at producing higher value chemicals at greater yields but also further diversifies the set of feedstocks and co-products GlycosBio can offer producers,” said Paul Campbell, chief science officer for GlycosBio.

With their technology, ethanol yield is double that of which is usually achieved with sugar feedstock, added Campbell.

“All of the chemicals like ethanol also show excellent yield advantages over the comparable sugar-based fermentation processes,” he said.

Microbial platforms to biologically produce fuels and chemicals from fatty acid have been nearly non-existent, the company said.

The development was in collaboration with GlycosBio’s scientific advisory board chairman Ramon Gonzales and his research group at Texas-based Rice University.

GlycosBio is building a biochemical plant in Malaysia with a capacity between 20,000 and 40,000 tonnes/year. The plant would produce bio-based acetone, technical grade ethanol and isoprene using crude glycerine as feedstock.

The plant is expected to start in early 2012.

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By: Doris de Guzman
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