Houston-based Glycos Biotechnologies announced today that it is building a biochemical plant as well as a biotech R&D facility in Malaysia under a collaboration with the country’s biotech hub Bio-XCell Sdn. Bhd., a government-supported industrial ecosystem focused on the advancement of biotechnology in Malaysia.
Recalling from a previous post on GlycosBio, the company licensed in 2008 a fermentation process developed by Rice University that can convert glycerine into high value organic acids such as formate, lactate, and succinate. GlycosBio are also working on biocatalytic production systems for renewable-based chemicals and fuels from starting materials other than crude glycerin.
But since they’ve been perfecting their glycerine-based acids, Malaysia is the perfect base for their new facility with tons of palm oil-based glycerine within reach. With their new 20,000 – 40,000 tonne/year facility, GlycosBio plans to produce bio-based acetone, technical grade ethanol and isoprene.
“The company’s expansion into Malaysia makes GlycosBio one of the first companies to be focused on research and development as well as the commercialization of advanced biochemicals in the region, and we plan to leverage this position to help the Malaysian government maintain and improve its sustainability production goals in the downstream palm oil industry,” said Rich Cilento, Chief Executive Officer of Glycos Biotechnologies.
Construction of the plant will begin in third quarter 2010 with an expected completion date in early 2012. In addition to the partnership with Bio-XCell, GlycosBio will also be working closely with the Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation, the national agency set up by the Malaysian government for the development of biotechnology in Malaysia.