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February 12, 2013

Commercial-scale production of bio-based BDO announced

Scott Jenkins

Genomatica (San Diego, Calif.; www.genomatica.com) and DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products Co., (DT&L; Loudon, Tenn.; www.duponttateandlyle.com) announced the first successful commercial-scale production of 1,4-butanediol (BDO) using a bio-based manufacturing process. 

BDO is an intermediate chemical used in a wide variety of applications including athletic apparel, electronics and automotive applications.  This campaign, which spanned five weeks in late 2012, produced more than five million pounds (over 2,000 metric tons) of BDO by direct fermentation using conventional sugars as feedstock.  This marks the first time that BDO – with an existing worldwide market of billions of pounds per year – has been produced biologically on this scale and at this rate.  This campaign was completed less than five years from when Genomatica first demonstrated the ability for a microorganism to produce BDO in 2008.

DuPont Tate & Lyle has been running its leading-edge biochemical plant in Tennessee since 2006, producing 1,3-propanediol (PDO) at commercial volumes.  The collaboration with Genomatica utilized DuPont Tate & Lyle’s commercial-scale batch fermentation operation to feed the plant’s continuous downstream processing.

The accomplishments of the campaign achieved through this collaboration built on the successful demonstration-scale production of BDO previously confirmed in Decatur, IL by the teams at Genomatica and Tate & Lyle using Genomatica’s proprietary BDO process.  

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