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Archives :: Chementator :: Bioprocessing

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September 1, 2012
Linde Gases (Murray Hill, N.J.; has developed a novel cryogenic technology that promotes uniformity in the formation of ice crystals during freeze-drying (lyophilization) processes for proteins, vaccines and other injectable pharmaceutical products. Lyophilization involves freezing a solution of the product, then reducing the surrounding pressure to allow the water to sublimate...
September 1, 2012
A move toward bio-based malic acid... Novozymes A/S (Copenhagen, Denmark; has developed a strain of metabolically engineered Aspergillus oryzae fungus that is capable of producing the four-carbon, dicarboxylic acid compound malic acid. The chemical building block malic acid is used as a flavor enhancer in the food industry, and can be converted into 1,4-butanediol (BDO), which serves as...
June 1, 2012
Proterro Inc. (Princeton, N.J.; www. has demonstrated technology for directly producing sucrose as a feedstock for bio-based chemicals and biofuels that avoids the need for cellulosic biomass and energy crops. Using a genetically engineered strain of photosynthetic cyanobacteria and a unique photobioreactor system, Proterro is able to generate a clean...
May 1, 2012
This month, Borregaard Industries Ltd. (Sarpsborg, Norway; will start up an integrated, pilot-demonstration plant to further develop a new pretreatment process for converting biomass into lignin and fermentable sugars. Located at the company’s R&D Center in Sarpsborg, the pilot plant will convert up to two metric tons (m.t.) of feedstock per day. The fully integrated facility...
May 1, 2012
The technology surrounding a hydrolysis- and fermentation-based process that is capable of utilizing municipal solid waste (MSW) and biomass waste to produce cellulosic bioethanol at low cost is now available for licensing from its developer, TMO Renewables Ltd. (Guildford, U.K.; Several of the cost-saving measures depend on the capabilities of a heat-loving bacterium that has been...
March 1, 2012
The first commercial-scale biobutanol plant using the Gevo Integrated Fermentation Technology (GIFT) process is set to come online in mid-2012 at the former site of an ethanol facility in Minnesota. In late January, Gevo (Englewood, Colo.; was awarded a U.S. patent for the GIFT separation technology, a key component of the process that allows the separation of C3–C6 alcohols from the...
February 1, 2012
Oji Paper Co. (OJI;, in collaboration with Nippon Steel Engineering Co. ( and the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST; all Tokyo, Japan;, has started pilot testing of a new, integrated process for making cellulose-based ethanol from fast-growing trees, such as eucalyptus. The pilot facility, located at OJI’s Kure...
November 1, 2011
Sugar is a critical feedstock for many emerging bio-based-chemical and biofuel processes, but harvesting sugar from low-value, nonfood biomass cost-effectively and at large scale remains a challenge. Renmatix Inc. (King of Prussia, Pa.; has developed a process that uses water above its critical temperature and pressure to hydrolyze a range of biomass materials to make C5 and C6 sugars...
October 1, 2011
A technique that improves the efficiency of ethanol plants by lowering the cost of dewatering the byproduct stillage (a slurry of corn solids and water) from the fermentation process has been developed by scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Eastern Regional Research Center (Wyndmoor, Pa.; The process has been demonstrated at full scale in a commercial plant...
September 1, 2011
Metabolix Inc. (Cambridge, Mass.; has successfully demonstrated and completed research and development for scaleup on a fermentation process that produces gamma -butyrolactone (GBL) from genetically engineered bacteria. The process is built upon the company’s technology for engineering metabolic pathways into microbes that produce specific biopolymers. “We’ve been able...
September 1, 2011
A new yeast strain that could one day substitute for petroleum as a source of surfactants for detergents, soaps and cosmetics has been identified by researchers at the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research (Peoria, Ill.; The yeast, not yet named, is a member of the Candida genus of yeasts and produces sophorolipids (a sugar-based...
September 1, 2011
Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. (MCC; Tokyo,, MCC) is developing bio-based technology for producing propylene, butadiene, 1,4-butanediol (BDO), terephthalic...
August 1, 2011
In June, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA; Washington, D.C.; announced the winners of the 2011 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards. Winners of the Challenge, which promotes R&D of less hazardous alternatives to existing technologies that reduce or eliminate waste in industrial production, are selected by an independent panel convened by the Americal Chemical Soc...
August 1, 2011
  Graphene from dry ice Researchers at Northern Illinois University (NIU; DeKalb, Ill.; discovered a new method for producing graphene that involves burning pure magnesium metal in dry ice. The method, which is capable of producing large quantities of graphene in sheets less than ten atoms thick, is simpler than conventional methods for generating graphene, and avoids hazardous chemicals...
July 1, 2011
The research group of professor Akihiko Kondo at Kobe University (Kobe City, has developed a one-step, pretreatment process for making bioethanol from cellulose and lignocellulose. The process uses an ionic liquid — which converts cellulose into a gel — and a genetically engineered yeast (arming yeast) that...
July 1, 2011
A process for making polyols from soybean oil and glycerin has been licensed by its developer, Battelle (Columbus, Ohio;, to Emery Oleochemicals Americas (Cincinnati, Ohio;, who intends to produce the renewably sourced polyols at prices similar to those of petroleum-based polyols. As multifunctional alcohols, polyols are widely used in industry, especially for making...
July 1, 2011
A compact, inexpensive and energy-saving continuous process to make bioethanol is being developed by professor Yoshio Katakura at Kansai University (Osaka;, in collaboration with the Kinki Bio-industry Development Organization (Osaka), Kansai Chemical Engineering Co. (Amagasaki), and Akita National College of Industry (Akita, all Japan). The so-called CCSSF process...
May 1, 2011
Spider silk has many unique properties that make it suitable for applications such as coatings and medical products. As a protein, the silk is remarkably stable and is only destroyed physically or digested and recycled by the spider. However, an industrially viable synthetic route to spider silk has eluded researchers over the last 25 years, says Axel Leimer, managing director at AMSilk GmbH...
April 1, 2011
Last month, Brain AG (Zwingenberg; and Dechema e.V. (Frankfurt am Main, both Germany; began a collaboration in the biotechnological production of perillic acid — a patented natural monoterpene owned by Brain, with promising applications as a bioactive compound in cosmetics products and as a natural preservative. The cooperation is aimed at further developing an...
June 1, 2009
Hiroshi Abe and colleagues at Biochemical Group of Research Institute for Innovation in Sustainable Chemistry, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (Tsukuba, Japan; have discovered a strain of acetic-acid bacteria (which normally oxidize ethanol into acetic acid) that effectively converts highly concentrated (22%) glycerin into D-glyceric acid. The researchers...
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