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Direct fermentation to produce propylene

By Chemical Engineering |

Global Bioenergies (Evry, France; www.global-bioenergies.com) says that last month it developed a proprietary strain of microorganism that directly produces propylene by the fermentation of glucose. The company claims this is the first time propylene has been produced entirely by a biological process — without any chemical step. The announcement follows Global Bioenergies previous breakthroughs in the production of bio-based isobutene, which is now being piloted (Chem. Eng., March 2014, p. 12), and butadiene (CE, September 2014, pp. 19–24). Propylene is a key building block of the petrochemical industry, and is used for the production of plastics, such as polypropylene. The company says over 80 million metric tons of propylene are produced per year, corresponding to a market exceeding $100 billion.
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