Busy Amyris

California-based Amyris has been very busy this week, with its newly formed joint venture with Brazilian ethanol company Cosan and its new partnership (and investor) with French oil company Total.

Amyris announced today that Total has acquired 17% of Amyris’ stake and that it will have the right to appoint a member of the Amyris Board of Directors. The press release did not exactly mentioned any specifics other than that both companies’ research and development teams will work together to develop new products and build biological pathways to produce and commercialize renewable fuels and chemicals.

From what I recall, aside from second generation biofuels, Total has been looking into polylactic acid-based (PLA) plastic with its partnership with lactic acid producer Galactic. The partnership recently commissioned a demonstration plant in Escanaffe, Belgium.

I smell sugar-based ethanol and plastics brewing for Amyris and Total…

Meanwhile, the Amyris and Cosan partnership announcement yesterday also did not disclose any specifics except that they plan to produce and commercialise sugarcane-based renewable chemicals for automotive and industrial applications.

The companies expect to complete a definitive agreement later this year.

I know Amyris is attending the BIO industrial biotechnology conference next week so maybe I’ll bump into one of them and get more information. By the way, tune in for my tweets at @ICISChemicalBiz or stories at ICIS News (for those who are subscribers) as I heard several green chemistry companies that I follow will make announcements at the event.

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