We've all heard about Verdezyne and Rennovia talking about the possibilities of creating 100% biological-based nylon with renewable-based adipic acid, and I wonder if this latest news from Genomatica will also place the company in the bio-adipic acid race.
The blog will talk to Genomatica about this soon but in the meantime, the company released a statement yesterday about receiving from the US Patent and Trademark Office (US PTO) two foundational patents, one, demonstrating production of cost-economic green nylon, and the other about syngas-based chemicals production.
Patent number 7,799,545, titled "Microorganisms for the production of adipic acid and other compounds," describes production of adipic acid and 6-aminocaproic acid (6-ACA) via organisms that use renewable based feedstock. The intermediate chemicals can then be used to produce nylon 6,6 and nylon 6, respectively.
Patent number 7,803,589, titled "Methods and organisms for utilizing synthesis gas or other gaseous carbon sources and methanol," describes how to engineer an organism to use syngas as a feedstock to make green chemical products.
Genomatica said syngas is generally less expensive than other renewable feedstocks, and can be sourced from a wide variety of raw materials including biomass or municipal solid waste - garbage. Traditional conversion of syngas to chemicals could only be done through energy-intensive chemical processing techniques and can only produce specific chemical products, according to the company.
"Genomatica's invention provides a platform for creation of numerous, major high-value chemicals, at lower cost."Genomatica's CEO Christophe Schilling recently wrote a commentary piece for Forbes.com stating the changing landscape of the chemical industry as major powerhouses such as DuPont, BASF and Dow Chemical are now investing in bio-based chemicals manufacturing.
[Photo of Enerkem's plant producing syngas from municipal solid waste]