Loudon, Tennessee -
BDO is an intermediate used in a wide variety of applications including polyurethane materials and fibres used in athletic wear, electronics and automotive applications.
In five weeks in late 2012 the JV produced more than five million pounds (over 2000 tonnes) of BDO by direct fermentation using conventional sugars as feedstock. This marks the first time that BDO - whose existing worldwide market is billions of pounds a year - has been produced biologically on this scale and at this rate, the JV's statement said.
The production run was completed less than five years after Genomatica first demonstrated the ability for a microorganism to produce BDO in 2008.
"This was a sizable commercial-scale production campaign," commented Christophe Schilling, Genomatica's chief executive officer, in the statement.
"Partnering with DuPont Tate & Lyle brought us biochemical process know-how at significant scale to make the leap from demonstration to commercial volumes. The success of this campaign is a significant milestone for our technology and for the biochemical industry."
DT&L has been making commercial quantities of 1,3-propanediol (PDO) at its biochemical plant in Tennessee since 2006. The collaboration with Genomatica utilised DT&L's commercial-scale batch fermentation to feed the plant's continuous processing.
"Utilising Genomatica's developments we demonstrated the flexibility of our bioprocessing capability," said Todd Sutton, president, DT&L.
PIC: Over 2000 tonnes of BDO, filling over 100 trucks, were produced using Genomatica's BDO technology.