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Genomatica announces new process technology for bio-based butylene glycol

By Mary Page Bailey |

Genomatica announces new biochemical process technology

Genomatica announces new biochemical process technology

Genomatica  (San Diego, Calif.; www.genomatica.com) announced its latest innovation, the GENO BG process, a new bio-based process technology to make a naturally sourced 1,3-butylene glycol. The GENO BG process has already produced bio-based butylene glycol for sampling and Genomatica has transferred the process to 85,000-liter production fermentors.

Butylene glycol, a four-carbon alcohol, is used globally in cosmetics to improve moisture retention and as a carrier for plant extracts. Conventional approaches to make butylene glycol start with fossil fuel-derived acetaldehyde. By contrast, Genomatica’s biobased butylene glycol is made via fermentation, starting from natural, sustainable, plant-based ingredients. This approach has the potential for high appeal in personal-care products.  

Additionally, Genomatica has leveraged the power and selectivity of biology to create a process that produces a distinctively pure product as compared to fossil fuel-derived, chemistry-based processes. Product purity and performance, plus a simpler process design that is readily deployed at large scale, also have the potential for additional market applications in everyday wellness products.

The GENO BG process has advanced faster than Genomatica’s commercialized GENO BDO process (for manufacturing 1,4-butanediol), which recently highlighted milestones for rapidly meeting plant performance guarantees and total worldwide production, including the opening of a commercial-scale BDO production facility in Italy. In 2013, Genomatic was honored with the Kirkpatrick Chemical Engineering Achievement Award for its work in the area of bio-based BDO.

“The GENO BG process marks our entry into specialty chemicals, complementing our leadership in intermediates,” said Christophe Schilling, Genomatica’s CEO. “GENO BG is another example of how quickly we can commercialize our bioengineering innovations and enable products with better performance and greater sustainability.”

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