Rice University licenses bioengineered E Coli that produces key ingredient for biomaterials

December 19 2008 / by Garry Golden
Category: Biotechnology   Year: 2011   Rating: 1

Ecoli

The vision of 'Green Chemisty' is to create the basic components used in making materials, energy, food and pharmaceuticals using sustainable practices, often without the use of petroleum based feedstocks. 

Rice University researchers have bio-engineered Ecoli to produce large amounts of a key component used in the development of bio-based and biodegradable polymers.

What happened?
Raw (starch) materials provider Roquette Frères has licensed a bio-process from Rice University to use genetically engineered Ecoli that produce large quantities of succinic acid used in plastics, textiles, drugs and solvents and as a food additive.

The high volume process is competitive with petroleum based processes, and actually 'carbon negative' as it consumes carbon during the fermenation process.

Roquette Frères is not a household brand, but could go a long way in realizing a scalable way to produce bio-based succinic acid from renewable resources via “green” chemistry.

Roquette will develop a demonstration plant in France by the end of 2009 with the capacity to produce several hundred metric tons of succinic acid per year.   After successful demonstration of the technology, the company expects to begin large-scale production by 2011.

The genetically engineered Ecoli were developed in the labs of Rice professors Ka-Yiu San, the E.D. Butcher Professor in Bioengineering, and George Bennett, the E.D. Butcher Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology at Rice University

Via Physorg

Rice University Press Release

Image Credit Ecoli Wikimedia

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