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Current

Uses of
Synthetic Biology
for Renewable
Chemicals,
Pharmaceuticals,
and Biofuels

2013 Biotechnology Industry Organization,


1201MarylandAve.SW,Suite900,
Washington,DC20024

DuPont Partners With Goodyear Tires to Produce Rubber


OPX Biotechnologies and Dow Chemical Produce BioAcrylic Acid
Modular Genetics Turns Agricultural Waste into Surfactants
Life Technologies Provides a Comprehensive Workflow for Vaccine Development
DSM Produces Antibiotics, Vitamins, and Renewable Chemicals
Agrivida Engineers Biomass to Produce Sustainable Sugars
Verdezyne Develops a Novel Biological Route to Bioadipic Acid
LS9 Engineers Microbes for Diesel Fuel and Chemicals
Metabolix Produces a Microbe That Efficiently Metabolizes Plastics
Codexis Collaborates with Merck to Develop a Biocatalytic Route to Sitagliptin
Myriant Develops a Renewable Chemical Succinic Acid Platform

Naturally Replicating Rubber for Tires


Isopreneisanimportantcommoditychemicalusedinavarietyofapplications,
includingtheproductionofsyntheticrubber.Isopreneisnaturallyproduced
bynearlyalllivingthings(includinghumans,plantsandbacteria);the
metabolitedimethylallylpyrophosphateisconvertedintoisoprenebythe
enzymeisoprenesynthase.Butthegeneencodingtheisoprenesynthase
enzymehasonlybeenidentifiedinplantssuchasrubbertrees,makingnatural
rubberalimitedresource.
Currently,syntheticrubberisderivedentirelyfrompetrochemicalsources.DuPont,togetherwithThe
GoodyearTire&RubberCompany,iscurrentlyworkingonthedevelopmentofareliable,highefficiency
fermentationbasedprocessfortheBioIsoprenemonomer,andsyntheticbiologyhasplayedan
importantroleinmakingthisundertakingareality.
Althoughplantenzymescanbeexpressedinmicroorganismsthroughgenetransferitisalongand
cumbersomeprocess,asplantgenescontainintronsandtheirsequencesarenotoptimizedfor
microorganisms.DNAsynthesisandDNAsequencinghaveenabledtheconstructionandrapid
characterizationofmetabolicallyengineeredmicroorganismstrainstoproduceisoprene.Synthetic
biologyhasenabledtheconstructionofagenethatencodesthesameaminoacidsequenceastheplant
enzymebutthatisoptimizedforexpressionintheengineeredmicroorganismofchoice.Thismethod
hasprovidedmassivelyparallelthroughputwhichhasmadeitpossibletoidentifyandtrackgenetic
variationamongthevariousstrains,providinginsightsintowhysomestrainsarebetterthanothers.
ContinueduseofsyntheticbiologyshouldhelprefineDuPontsbiocatalystfortheproductionof
BioIsoprenemonomer.

Delivering Economic, Renewable BioAcrylic


Acrylicisanimportantpetrochemicalusedinawiderangeofindustrialandconsumer
products.Acrylicingredientsmakepaintsmoredurableandodorfree,adhesives
strongerandlongerlasting,diapersmoreabsorbentandleakproof,anddetergents
betterabletocleanclothes.Today,petroleumbasedacrylicisan$8billionglobal
market.
OPXBiotechnologies(OPXBIO)isdevelopingrenewablebiobasedacrylictomatch
petroacrylicperformanceandcostbutwitha75percentreductioningreenhousegas
emissions.BioAcrylicfromOPXBIOalsowillreduceoildependenceandoffermore
stableprices.
Thekeytorealizingthesebenefits,aswithanybiobasedproduct,isahighlyproductiveandefficient
microbeabletouserenewablesourcesofcarbonandenergy(forexamplecorn,sugarcane,orcellulose)
inacommercialbioprocess.AmicrobethatmeetsthesecriteriaforBioAcrylichasnotbeenfoundin
nature,soOPXBIOisapplyingitsproprietaryEDGE(EfficiencyDirectedGenomeEngineering)
technologytoredesignanaturalmicrobetoachievethesegoals.WithEDGE,OPXBIOrapidlydefinesand
constructscomprehensivegeneticchangesinthemicrobetooptimizeitsmetabolismforeconomical
productionofBioAcrylic.
OPXBIOhasadvanceditsBioAcrylicproductionprocessfrompilottolargedemonstrationscale.The
companyhasestablishedajointdevelopmentagreementwithTheDowChemicalCompany,thelargest
producerofpetroacrylicintheUnitedStates,tobringBioAcrylictomarketby2016.

Making Green Chemicals from Agricultural Waste


Surfactantsareoneofthemostusefulandwidelysoldclassesofchemicals,becausetheyenablethe
stableblendingofchemicalsthatdonotusuallyremainassociated(likeoilandwater).
Today,nearlyallsurfactantsaremanufacturedfromeither
petrochemicalsorseedoils,suchaspalmorcoconutoil.Worldwide
productionofsurfactantsfrompetrochemicalsannuallyemits
atmosphericcarbondioxideequivalenttocombustionof3.6billion
gallonsofgasoline.Productionfromseedoilisgreener,butthereis
alimittotheamountofseedoilthatcanbeproducedwhile
protectingtherainforest.Toaddressthisproblem,Modularhas
developedmicroorganismsthatconvertagriculturalwastematerial
intousefulnewsurfactants.Dr.P.SomasundaranoftheUniversity
CenterforSurfactants(IUCS)atColumbiaUniversityfindsthat
Modularssurfactantis10foldmoreeffectivethanasimilar
commerciallyavailablesurfactant.
Modularhasdevelopedanengineeredmicroorganismthatconverts
soybeanhullsintoasurfactantforuseinpersonalcareproducts

M.PeteHe,PhD.,Senior
ResearchFellow,Corporate
Sustainability,Dial,Henkelof
Americasays:Sustainable
chemistrywillbeamajor
driverofU.S.economic
growth,andIlookforwardto
moreofthistypeof
impressivework,whichisa
winwin,combiningacademic
achievementwithindustrial
implications.

andotherformulations.Thehullisthewoodycasethatprotectsthesoybeans,anditcannotbedigested
byhumansorothermonogastricanimals,suchaspigs.TheU.S.
producesabout70billionpoundsofindigestiblesoy
carbohydrateannually,andModularseekstoupgradethis
underutilizedmaterialbyconvertingitintoavarietyofuseful
newchemicalproducts.Modularssurfactantprogramispartially
supportedwithfundsfromtheNewUsesCommitteeofthe
UnitedSoybeanBoard(USB),whichseekstoexpandsoybean
marketsthroughthedevelopmentoftechnologythatenablesthe
conversionofsoybasedmaterialsintonewproducts.
Today,mostorganicchemicalsarederivedfrompetroleum.
FredrickFrank,ViceChairman,PeterJ.SolomonCompany,offersthisperspectiveonthesustainable
chemistryindustry:Severalpublishedreportshaveconcludedthatabouttwothirdsofthosechemicals
canbegeneratedfromrenewablerawmaterials,ratherthanfromoil.Ifso,sustainablechemistry
potentiallyhasamarketsizeofabout$1trillion.Lessthan7percentoforganicchemicalsarecurrently
producedfromrenewablematerials,thusthereisanopportunityforlongtermgrowth.

Life Technologies Provides a Comprehensive Workflow for Vaccine


Development
Demandisgrowingindevelopinganddevelopedcountriesaroundtheworldforcosteffectivevaccines
topreventinfectiousdiseases.Butdevelopmentofnewvaccinesisatimeconsumingundertaking,
requiringtheidentificationofantigenssuchasweakenedvirusesor
bacterialtoxinsorotherpathogensandthedevelopment,
purificationandproductionofimmunogensthatmighthelpprevent
ortreatdiseases.
LifeTechnologieshasaproventrackrecordinvaccinedevelopment.It
providesthemolecularengineeringtoolsandservicesnecessaryto
sequencegeneticinformationtoformulatevaccinesandother
treatmentsinamoreefficientandtimelymannerthancurrent
practices,allowingresearcherstosavetime.
SyntheticbiologyenablesLifeTechnologiestodesign,synthesize,testanddeployantigensandvariants
withrapidresults,highexpressionandcapacity.ItalsoenablesLifeTechnologiestodevelop
immunogensengineeredforefficacyandhightiterandproducerapidassaysforpurificationofthe
immunogens.
LifeTechnologiesscientistsdevelopedthecustomgeneconstructsthatserveasthebasisforHIVvaccine
candidates.ThegenesequenceswerecustomdesignedbyscientistsatGeneArtwhichmergedwith
LifeTechnologiesinDecember2010andtheUniversityofRegensburg,andthentestedinaphaseI
clinicaltrialbytheEuroVaccFoundation.Thetrialprovedtheprophylacticvaccinetobesafeandwell
tolerated,triggeringastrongandlastingimmuneresponsein90percentofthecandidates.Additional

trialsareongoing.In2009,GeneArtwasawardedacontractbytheHIVVaccineConsortium(UK)to
designandproducetwoHIVvaccinecandidatesbasedontheHIVgenesequencesusedinthe2008trial.
InMay2009,theGeneArtgenesynthesisandassemblyplatformwasemployedtocreatesynthetic
H1N1genes,andtheproductwasdeliveredwithina5dayperiod.GeneArtcreatedanadditionalten
H1N1viralcoatproteinconstructsfortheRobertKochInstitute(thecentralfederalinstitution
responsiblefordiseasecontrolandpreventioninGermany).

Developing a Suite of Biobased Products and Services


DSM,aLifeSciencesandMaterialsSciencescompanyheadquarteredintheNetherlands,wasoneofthe
firstcompaniestoutilizesyntheticbiology,dramaticallyimprovinganexistingprocessforcommercial
productionofCephalexin,asyntheticantibiotic.Startingwithapenicillinproducingmicrobialstrain,
DSMintroducedandoptimizedtwoenzymeencodinggenesforaonestep
directfermentationofadipoyl7ADCA,whichcouldthenbeconverted
intoCephalexinviatwoenzymaticsteps.Thenewprocessreplaceda13
stepchemicalprocess,resultinginsignificantcostandenergysavings.
DSMhasgoneontobuildabusinessinantibiotics,vitamins,enzymes,
organicacids,andperformancematerialswithinoneofitsemerging
businessareascalledBiobasedProductsandServices.
Majorbiotechnologyadvancesareopeningupopportunitiesinthe
productionofbiofuelsandrenewablechemicalsaswellasmaterialsmade
fromdifferenttypesofrenewablebiomass.RecentDSMbreakthroughsincludeacocktailofenzymes
thatbreakdownthelignocellulosefromagriculturalresiduestosimpleC5andC6sugars.Advancesin
syntheticbiologyhaveenabledDSMtodeveloprecombinantyeastcapableofcofermentingboth
hexosesandpentoses.DSMintroducedenzymesfromnativexyloseassimilatingorganismstoS.
cerevisiae,allowingcofermentationofxyloseandarabinosealongwithglucose.RecentlyDSM
announceda50/50jointventurewithamajorethanolproducer,POETforthecommercialdevelopment,
demonstrationandlicensingofcellulosicbioethanol.
Similarly,startingin2007,theuseofsyntheticbiologymethodsallowedDSMtodevelopproprietary
yeastthatcanoperateinalowpHfermentationsystemtocosteffectivelyproducehighquality
biobasedsuccinicacid.ThispatentedprocessincollaborationwithRoquetteFrreswillbescaledina10
kilotonplantin2012andnewmarketsareexpectedtoopenwiththis4carbonchemicalbuildingblock.
Morerecently,similarworkusingbothbiotechnologyandchemistrysynergisticallyisresultinginthe
developmentofrenewableadipicacid,a6carbondiacidthatisakeymonomerforapplicationsin
engineeringplastics,textiles,resins,andpolyurethanes.Thevaluepropositionfortheindustrywith
thesenewroutesarecostadvantagedeconomics,renewablefeedstockflexibility,andasignificant
improvementinthecarbonfootprintmeasuredbyLifeCycleAnalysis.
Insummary,DSMslongtrackrecordinantiinfectivesandvitaminscombinedwithanevergrowing
experiencebaseinsyntheticbiologyhavestrengthenedDSMsoverallcapabilitiestoworkwithpartners
andindustrystakeholdersalongtheemergingvaluechains.

Engineering LowCost Sugars for Petroleum Substitute


Sugarsfromnonfoodbiomasscanbeusedasbuildingblockstomanufactureawidevarietyofbiofuels
andrenewablechemicalsthatarecurrentlyproducedfromexpensiveandpricevolatilepetroleum
feedstocks.Theadvancedbiofuelsmarketisestimatedto
growto21billiongallonsby2022,basedontheU.S.
RenewableFuelsStandard(RFS)undertheEnergy
IndependenceandSecurityActof2007.
Traditionalsugarfermentationprocessestoproduce
biofuelsandrenewablechemicalsuseeithersucrosefrom
sugarcaneorstarchfromcorn,sorghum,orwheat.
Agrividasengineeredbiomassprovidesgreaterprice
stabilityforrawmaterials,useslessenergyinproducing
biofuelsandrenewablechemicalsviafermentationand
enablesproductionwithdramaticallylowergreenhouse
gasemissions.
INzymetechnologyfromAgrivida,anovelapproachtosyntheticbiology,providesprocessorsand
biorefinerstheabilitytodirectlycontroldormantbiodegradingenzymesthathavebeenengineeredinto
thebiomass.Afterharvest,theseenzymesareactivatedinawaythatgreatlyreducestheenergy,
chemicalandotherpretreatmentstraditionallyrequiredtoconverttheplantmaterialtosugar.
AgrividasINzymetechnologydecreasesacriticalbottleneckin
bioproductsproduction,allowingsignificantlyimproved
production,reducingthecostandquantityofenzymesneededto
producecellulosicbiofuelsandrenewablechemicalsandreducing
productionfacilitycapitalandoperatingcosts.
Ultimately,INzymetechnologyfromAgrividawillallow
consumerstofullyrealizethepotentialofareplacementfor
petroleumbasedbiofuelsandrenewablechemicalsthathave
significantbenefitsingreaternationalsecuritythroughreduced
dependenceonimportedpetroleum,lowergreenhousegasemissionsandsignificantagriculturaland
manufacturingjobscreation.Importantly,Agrividaanticipatesthatitstechnologyplatformwillprovide
consumersaconsiderablecostsavingsbetween70and80centspergallonofbiofuelsproduced.

Creating Economic Advantage for a Commonly Used Chemical


Adipicacidisavaluablechemicalintermediateusedinproductionofnylonforwellestablishedmarkets
likeautomotiveparts,footwear,andconstructionmaterials.Thecurrentmarketforadipicacidis
approximately$5.2billion.Currentpetrochemicalprocessesfortheproductionofadipicacidgenerate
asmuchas4.0tonsofCO2equivalentspertonofadipicacidproduced.Abiobasedprocesscould
reducetheproductioncostsofadipicacidby20percentormore.

Verdezyneisdevelopingacostadvantaged,environmentallyfriendlyfermentationprocessforadipic
acid.Thecompanysproprietarymetabolicpathwaycanutilizesugar,plantbasedoilsoralkanes,and
thecompanyhascompletedproofofconcepttestingforfattyacidsand
alkanes.Thepotentialbenefitofthisfeedstockflexibleapproachistheability
tomaintainasustainableeconomicadvantageregardlessoffutureenergy
volatilityandtoreducetheenvironmentalfootprintforproducingadipic
acid.
Adipicacidisnotproducedinnature.Verdezynesnovelcombinatorial
approachtopathwayengineeringrapidlycreatesandharnessesgenetic
diversitytooptimizeametabolicpathway.Ratherthanmanipulatingone
pathwaygeneatatime,thecompanyusessyntheticgenelibrariesto
introducediversityintoametabolicpathway.Thecompanysuniquecomputationalandsynthetic
biologytoolboxallowseffectivedesign,synthesisandexpressionofsynthesizedgenesinaheterologous
recombinantyeastmicroorganism.

Producing Biofuels and Renewable Chemicals as Petroleum Alternatives


Dieselisthemostwidelyusedliquidfuelintheworld.Thisenergydensefuelsupportsthetransportof
70percentofU.S.commercialgoodsandisinhighdemandinthedevelopingworldtosupportthe
heavyequipment(trucks,bulldozers,trains,etc)required
forinfrastructuredevelopment.Todaythereisnocost
effectiverenewablealternativetodiesel.
LS9hasdevelopedaplatformtechnologythatleveragesthe
naturalefficiencyofmicrobialfattyacidbiosynthesisto
produceadiversityofdropinfuelsandchemicals.Using
syntheticbiology,LS9hasdevelopedmicrobialcellsthatcan
performaonestepconversionofrenewablecarbohydrates
(sugars)totwodieselalternatives,afattyacidmethylester
(biodieselASTM6751)andanalkane(ASTMD975).
TheLS9processesareuniqueinthatallofthechemical
conversionsfromcarbohydratetofinishedfuelare
catalyzedinthecell,withthefinishedproductsecreted.Thefuelformsanimmisciblelightorganic
phasethatisnontoxictotheorganismandiseasilyrecoveredfromthebroththroughcentrifugation.
Thereisnoneedforfurtherchemicalconversion,andthereisnorequirementforhydrogeninthe
process.Thesesimpleprocessesenabletheproductionofdieselfromscalablerenewableresourcesata
pricecompetitivewithpetroleum(withoutsubsidy).
SyntheticbiologyhasbeenessentialinengineeringtheLS9microbialcatalysts.Thebiosynthetic
pathwaystoproducefinishedfuelproductsdonotexistinthenativeE.colihost,andpriortoourefforts
alkanebiosyntheticgeneswereunknown.LS9designedthepathways,synthesizedthegenesencoding
eachenzymeinthepathway,andconstructedmultigenebiosyntheticoperonsenablingproduction.To

improveyield,productivity,andtiterthedriversofprocesseconomicefficiencythebiosynthetic
pathwaysandhostmetabolismhaverequiredsignificantgeneticoptimization.LS9developed
capabilitiesforthecomputationaldesignandautomatedparallelconstructionofgene,operon,and
recombinantcelllibrariesthathaveenabledtherapidconstructionandevaluationofthousandsof
rationallyengineeredmicroorganisms.Thiscapabilityincombinationwithstateoftheartscreening,
processdevelopment,andanalyticalmethodologieshasenabledLS9inonlyafewyearstoadvance
fromconcepttoaprocessslatedforcommercialscaledemonstration.
Thissametechnologyplatformhasbeenleveragedfortheproductionofsurfactantsforuseinconsumer
productsincollaborationwithProcter&Gamble.Theabilitytoexchangebiosyntheticpartsand
leveragethecorehostchassishasenabledthedevelopmentofthischemicalproductlinemuchfaster,
achievinginmonthswhathadtakenyearsfortheearlierproducts.
LS9intendstocontinuetoleveragethepowerofsyntheticbiologytofurtheradvancetheseandfuture
productsasquicklyandcosteffectivelyaspossible.Wefeelstronglythesetechnologiesareessentialto
thegoalofweaningourdependenceonfossilfeedstocksandthefurtherdevelopmentofaworld
leadingindustrialbiotechnologyindustry.

Increasing Rates of Natural Fermentation for Polymers


Metabolixisbringingnew,cleansolutionstotheplastics,chemicalsandenergyindustriesbasedon
highlydifferentiatedtechnology.For20years,Metabolixhasfocusedonadvancingitsfoundationin
polyhydroxyalkanoates(PHA),abroadfamilyofbiopolymers.Throughamicrobialfermentationprocess,
thebasepolymerPHAisproducedwithinmicrobialcellsandthenharvested.Developmentworkby
Metabolixhasledtoindustrialstrainsofthecells,whichcanefficientlytransformnaturalsugarsinto
PHA.TherecoveredpolymerismadeintopelletstoproduceMirelBioplasticsbyTellesproducts.
Conventionalplasticsmaterialslikepolyvinylchloride(PVC),polyethyleneteraphthalate(PET),and
polypropylene(PP)aremadefrompetroleumorfossilcarbon.The
PHAinMirelbioplasticsismadethroughthefermentationofsugar
andcanbebiodegradedbythemicrobespresentinnaturalsoilor
waterenvironments.AlthoughPHAsareproducednaturallyin
manymicroorganisms,thecostandrangeofcompositions
requiredforsuccessfulcommercializationdictatedthatPHA
pathwayshadtobeassembledinarobustindustrialorganismthat
doesnotnaturallyproducetheproduct.
Metabolicpathwayengineeringwasusedtoaccomplishthistask,relyingonmoderntoolsof
biotechnology.TheseincludeDNAsequencingandsyntheticconstructionofgenesencodingthesame
aminoacidsequenceasinthedonorstrain,butoptimizedforexpressionintheengineeredindustrial
host.Thesetechnologiesprovidedrapiddevelopmentandoptimizationofrobustindustrialproduction
strainsthatwouldnothavebeenfeasibleusingclassicaltechniquesrelyingonisolationandtransferof
DNAfromonespeciestotheother.

ThishasallowedMetabolixtosuccessfullycommercializeMirelbioplastics.Morethan50yearsafterit
wasfirstconsideredasapotentiallyusefulnewmaterialandfollowingseveraleffortsbyleading
chemicalcompaniestocommercializePHAsbasedonnaturalproductionhosts,Metabolixhasmade
theseproductsavailableatacommercialscale.

Increasing Efficiency in Bioprocessing of Pharmaceuticals


Sitagliptin,Mercksfirstinclassdipeptidylpeptidase4inhibitor,ismarketedunderthetradename
JanuviaasatreatmentfortypeIIdiabetes.ThechemicalmanufacturingroutetoSitagliptindeveloped
byMerckwonaPresidentialGreenChemistryChallengeAwardin2006,buttherewerestillseveral
opportunitiesforimprovement.CodexisandMerckcollaboratedtodevelopanovel,environmentally
benignalternativemanufacturingroute.Usingsyntheticbiologyanditsdirected
evolutiontechnologies,Codexisdiscoveredanddevelopedatransaminase
capableofenablingthenewbiocatalyticroute,whichiscurrentlyinscaleup
towardscommercialmanufacture.
Onecommondefinitionofsyntheticbiologyisthedesignandconstructionof
newbiologicalentitiesthatdonotexistinthenaturalworld.Inthisinstance,
therewasnoknownenzymethatcouldperformthereactionrequiredtoenable
thebiocatalyticroute.Bydesigningandgeneratingnewenzymevariants,
Codexiswasabletoidentifyanovelenzymethatprovideddetectableinitial
activity.Thisenzymewasthenimprovedgreaterthan25,000foldinordertogeneratethehighlyactive,
stable,enantioselectiveandpracticalenzymefromastartingactivitythatdidnotpreviouslyexistinthe
naturalworld.ThisworkwasawardedwiththePresidentialGreenChemistryChallengeAwardinJune,
2010.

Producing a Building Block for Everyday Products


Succinicacidisalinear4carbonsaturateddicarboxylicacid.Myriantsbiosuccinicacidproducedfrom
renewableandsustainablerawmaterialsischemicallyidenticaltosuccinicacidproducedby
petrochemicalroutes,withapuritylevelequalorsuperiortothehighestqualitypetroleumbased
succinicacid.ThisenablesMyriantsbiosuccinicacidtobedroppedintoanyprocesscurrentlyusing
petroleumderivedsuccinicacid.Inaddition,itschemicalstructureallowsittoreplaceseveralother
buildingblockchemicalscurrentlyproducedfrompetrochemicalfeedstocksincludingmaleic
anhydrideandadipicacid,whichareusedintheproductionofeverydayconsumeritemsfromplasticsto
clothingfibersandbiodegradablesolvents,tofoodandpharmaceuticalproducts.Themarketpotential
ofsuccinicacidisestimatedtobe$7.6billionperyear.

Intheconventionalpetrochemicalprocess,benzeneor
butaneisoxidizedtoproducemaleicanhydridereleasing
roughlyhalfoftherawmaterialasCO2whichisthen
convertedtosuccinicacidthroughhydrolysis.
Myrianthasdevelopedamoreecofriendlymethodforthe
productionofbiosuccinicacidthataddressesthesupply,
costandenvironmentalissuesassociatedwiththeuseof
fossilfuelsasfeedstocks.Myriantstechnologyplatformuses
proprietarymicroorganismsinafermentationprocess
designedtoproducehighvaluebiobasedchemicalswith
highyieldsandproductivity.Thebiocatalystsarenon
geneticallymodified(nonGMO)microorganismswithaltered
metabolicpathwaysthatgrowandsimultaneouslyproduce
targetbiobasedchemicalsfromavarietyofrenewable
feedstocks.Ourhighlyefficientbiocatalystsareableto
flourishinminimalgrowthmediumwithouttheuseof
expensive,complexnutrients,enablingustobringrenewable
chemicalstomarketthatarecostcompetitivewiththeir
petroleumbasedcounterparts.
Myriantsbiocatalystsareabletoconsumeavarietyofreadilyavailablelowcostsugarsfromnonfood
sources,suchasglucosefromsorghumandcellulosicsugarsfromwastebiomass.Theserawmaterials
arenotsubjecttotheextremepricevolatilityorsupplyavailabilityissuesassociatedwithpetroleum
basedfeedstocks.Additionally,MyriantsanaerobicprocessconsumesCO2,resultinginareduced
carbonfootprint.
Biosuccinicacidcanbeusedinmanyapplications,suchasplasticizers,coatings,polymers,esters,and
polyesterpolyols.Asanexample,MyrianthasdevelopedMyrifilmsolvent,whichcanbeusedto
manufacturecoatingswithsuperiorfunctionalperformance.Myrifilmalsobringsadditionalbenefitsto
thecoatingsformulator,asitcontainsnovolatileorganiccompounds(VOC),isfreeofhazardousair
pollutants(HAPS),andisodorfree.
In2009,Myriantreceiveda$50milliongrantfromtheU.S.DepartmentofEnergytobuildthenations
firstbiosuccinicacidcommercialproductionfacilityinLakeProvidence,La.Theplantisscheduledto
startupinthefirstquarterof2013andits30millionpoundperyearproductioncapacityisalreadysold
tocustomersaroundtheworld.