Archives :: Chementator :: Biotechnology

Displaying 1 - 20 of 20 stories.
December 1, 2013
The National Food Research Institute (NFRI) of the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO; Tsukuba City, Japan; has developed an enzymatic pretreatment process for producing highly concentrated sugar solution from fibrous materials containing rice straw and starch. The process can be used for producing specific sugar solutions, depending on the local raw materials...
December 1, 2013
A research team from the University of Western Australia (Perth;, led by professor Dongke Zhang, has pioneered the application of higher plants for new-generation biofuel production. Metabolic engineering of Arabidopsis thaliana — a small flowering plant native to Europe and Asia, which was the first plant to have its genome sequenced — caused the plant to produce triterpene...
November 1, 2013
Short-chain hydrocarbons have been produced for the first time by microbial fermentation by a research team from the Dept. of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST; Daejeon, South Korea,, led by Prof Sang Yup Lee. There have been reports of the production of long-chain hydrocarbons, consisting of 13 to 17 carbon atoms...
November 1, 2013
Last month saw the start of a five-year joint research project to extract rubber from dandelion plants to make tires. In collaboration with Continental AG (Hannover, Germany;, the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology (IME; Aachen, Germany;, will build a pilot plant capable of producing natural rubber by the...
October 1, 2013
A continuous fermentation process for making biologically derived butanol from a variety of sugar feedstocks is operating at what developers call “lab-pilot” scale, producing 2.5 liters per day. Engineering studies conducted by the research team forecast that it could be produced for the same cost as existing sugar-based bioethanol processes. The technology developer, Optinol Inc. (San...
September 1, 2013
The selective, one-step biocatalytic hydroxylation of benzene to phenol — at ambient pressure and temperature — has been demonstrated by professors Yoshihito Watanabe and Osamu Shoji at Nagoya University (Nagoya, Japan; The achievement was made using a wild-type of Cytochrome P450BM3 with the simple addition of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) as decoy molecules...
August 1, 2013
Sapphire Energy, Inc. (San Diego, Calif.; and The Linde Group (Munich; have signed an agreement, with a minimum span of five years, to commercialize Sapphire’s process for producing crude oil from algae. The agreement expands an existing partnership in which the two companies have developed a low-cost method for delivering CO2 to algae ponds. Linde will now help...
July 1, 2013
Squalane, an emollient used in cosmetics, will be the first product of a biotechnology pilot plant now being started up by Nucelis Inc. (San Diego, Calif.;, a spin-off from Cibus (also of San Diego). The plant will use Cibus’ Rapid Trait Development System (RTDS), a new gene-editing technology, to enable naturally occurring yeast to increase their production of squalene, the...
September 1, 2012
A move toward bio-based malic acid... Novozymes A/S (Copenhagen, Denmark; has developed a strain of metabolically engineered Aspergillus oryzae fungus that is capable of producing the four-carbon, dicarboxylic acid compound malic acid. The chemical building block malic acid is used as a flavor enhancer in the food industry, and can be converted into 1,4-butanediol (BDO), which serves as...
August 1, 2012
Ajinomoto Co., Inc. ( and Bridgestone Corp. (Both Tokyo, Japan; have jointly developed a bio-based, high- cis-polyisoprene synthetic rubber. The two companies began an R&D cooperation in June 2011 to combine their know-how — Ajinomoto’s...
June 1, 2012
A partnership between Australian research agency CSIRO (Melbourne, Australia; and Lonza Group Ltd. (Basel, Switzerland;, aims to market new insect silk products globally. Potential applications of insect silk include composite fibers for the aviation and marine industries, and medical applications such as wound repair, drug delivery, repairing and replacing human tissues such...
June 1, 2012
Proterro Inc. (Princeton, N.J.; www. has demonstrated technology for directly producing sucrose as a feedstock for bio-based chemicals and biofuels that avoids the need for cellulosic biomass and energy crops. Using a genetically engineered strain of photosynthetic cyanobacteria and a unique photobioreactor system, Proterro is able to generate a clean...
April 1, 2012
New biocomposite plastics that combine soybean-meal protein with conventional plastic resins allow significantly lower use of petroleum-based chemicals in polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) manufacturing. The new class of bioplastics incorporates soybean-meal protein, which is chemically bound to...
March 1, 2012
The first commercial-scale biobutanol plant using the Gevo Integrated Fermentation Technology (GIFT) process is set to come online in mid-2012 at the former site of an ethanol facility in Minnesota. In late January, Gevo (Englewood, Colo.; was awarded a U.S. patent for the GIFT separation technology, a key component of the process that allows the separation of C3–C6 alcohols from the...
March 1, 2012
The first commercial-scale biobutanol plant using the Gevo Integrated Fermentation Technology (GIFT) process is set to come online in mid-2012 at the former site of an ethanol facility in Minnesota. In late January, Gevo (Englewood, Colo.; was awarded a U.S. patent for the GIFT separation technology, a key component of the process that allows the separation of C3–C6 alcohols from the...
December 1, 2011
Using gene recombination technology, Toyota Motor Corp. (TMC; Toyota City, Japan: has developed a new strain of yeast that achieves one of the highest ethanol-fermentation density levels in the world — approximately 47 g/L with 87% yield (based on the feed sugar). In addition to the high yield, TMC’s yeast is highly efficient at fermenting xylose, which is normally...
June 1, 2011
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (MHI; Tokyo, says it has established technology to produce bioethanol for automobile use by using soft-cellulose, such as wheat straw and rice straw, as raw materials. MHI estimates the fuel cost for a full-scale production plant — accounting for the costs of feed material and its collection and transportation, as well as bioethanol production costs...
May 1, 2011
Spider silk has many unique properties that make it suitable for applications such as coatings and medical products. As a protein, the silk is remarkably stable and is only destroyed physically or digested and recycled by the spider. However, an industrially viable synthetic route to spider silk has eluded researchers over the last 25 years, says Axel Leimer, managing director at AMSilk GmbH...
April 1, 2011
Last month, Brain AG (Zwingenberg; and Dechema e.V. (Frankfurt am Main, both Germany; began a collaboration in the biotechnological production of perillic acid — a patented natural monoterpene owned by Brain, with promising applications as a bioactive compound in cosmetics products and as a natural preservative. The cooperation is aimed at further developing an...
March 1, 2011
In spring of this year, Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM; Decatur, Ill.; plans full operation of a chemical plant based on soybean and canola oils as renewable feedstock. Products of the plant will include refined glycerin, propylene glycol and ethylene glycol. Crude vegetable-derived oils are obtained through a process in which soybeans and canola seeds are crushed, dehulled and conditioned, and...

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