Codexis, Chemtex on detergent alcohols deal

This week is definitely a killer when it comes to press announcements and it is not even Friday yet!

Codexis just announced an hour ago their detergent alcohols collaboration deal with technology and engineering firm Chemtex, a company owned by Italy’s Gruppo Mossi & Ghisolfi (the same company that has a bio-butanediol collaboration with Genomatica).

The companies will develop and produce second generation detergent alcohols trademarked CodeXol made from cellulosic biomass. Readers might recalled the blog’s post in March about Codexis’ development in this sector.

Under the deal, Codexis will develop proprietary enzymes for use with Chemtex’s PROESA pre-treatment technology. Chemtex will also provide design and engineering services for future commercial facilities. Codexis will have exclusive rights to PROESA technology for the production of detergent alcohols. Codexis will also market the products resulting from the collaboration.

 The companies said they expect to have a pilot production of the cellulosic-based alcohols in Chemtex’s R&D facility in Rivalta, Italy, and scale it up to demo capacity level using Chemtex’s 40,000 tonne/year cellulosic ethanol plant currently being built in Crescentino, Italy, which will be operational next year.

Chemtex’s R&D facility is definitely getting crowded with Genomatica’s bio-BDO and now with detergent alcohols.

Codexis’ announcement coincide with the company’s second quarter earnings result where revenues for the quarter was up 6% from $24.5m reported in Q2 2010. Collaborative R&D revenue of $2.5m was reportedly up by 198% compared to a year ago driven mainly by funded research in Codexis’ carbon capture program.

I’m not really good at reporting earnings so I’ll leave it to financial experts.

Another interesting news from the earnings press release, however, is Shell said to be shifting its focus from diesel fuel program into the cellulosic ethanol program. There’s some sort of resource allocation mentioned but I have no idea what that means.

Another worth mentioning is the hiring of Pedro Mizutani, a current Raizen official to Codexis’ Board of Directors. Raizen – Codexis’ largest stockholder — is the biofuels joint venture between Shell and Brazilian sugar/ethanol company Cosan.

I will check tomorrow if some of the analysts covering Codexis will put out juicy details from their earnings conference call.

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