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Comment Processing & Handling

Commercial production of glucaric acid from sugar substrate

By Scott Jenkins |

The synthetic biology company Kalion Inc. (Milton, Mass.; www.kalioninc.com) recently completed its first commercial-scale production run of high-purity (98–99%) glucaric acid via fermentation of glucose at a custom-manufacturing facility owned by Evonik Industries AG (Essen, Germany; www.evonik.com). The high purities achieved by Kalion’s advanced fermentation process far outstrip those achieved by existing bio-based glucaric acid processes at lower cost, widening the range of possible applications. Combined with standard unit operations, the Kalion fermentation process uses proprietary synthetic biology techniques developed in the laboratory of Kristala Prather at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT; Cambridge, Mass.; www.mit.edu) to engineer the metabolic pathways of Escherichia coli bacteria and induce efficient and low-cost production of glucaric acid. The initial manufacturing produced material to meet existing customer commitments for high-purity glucaric acid. Among the customer applications is using glucaric acid as a corrosion inhibitor in cooling-water treatment. Glucaric acid obviates the need for phosphate-based inhibitors, which can have damaging effects when allowed to run off into coastal waters. Darcy…
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