M&G Signs Strategic Partnership with Genomatica
SAN DIEGO, April 19, 2011 – Genomatica, an emerging leader in sustainable chemicals, and M&G (Gruppo Mossi & Ghisolfi), the world’s largest producer of PET and a leader in chemical engineering and renewable processes through their Chemtex subsidiary, signed a broad strategic partnership, which includes:
a) Development of complete process for biomass to Bio-BDO: Genomatica and M&G’s Chemtex will develop a complete, proprietary process for the ‘second-generation’ manufacturing of Bio-BDO from biomass. This work will combine the Chemtex PROESA technology for cellulosic biomass conversion to fermentable sugars with Genomatica’s Bio-BDO process. Genomatica will have exclusive rights to the use of PROESA for the production of Bio-BDO.
b) Demonstration-scale production of Bio-BDO from biomass: The PROESA process is in production at demonstration scale at a Chemtex process facility in Rivalta, Italy and will be commercialized in a 45,000 kTA (metric ton per year) ethanol plant in Crescentino, Italy by the end of 2012. Bio-BDO from biomass-derived sugars will be produced at demonstration scale at the Rivalta facility starting in 2012. This will follow production of Bio-BDO from conventional sugars at demonstration scale in the U.S. in 2011 through a partnership with Tate & Lyle.
c) Commercial plant engineering services by M&G’s Chemtex: Chemtex will be a preferred process engineering partner for the design and construction of Genomatica commercial bio-based chemical plants, for both first- and second-generation (biomass) feedstocks.
“Genomatica’s proven, direct, one-step production processes combined with our PROESA biomass technology will drive further improvements in bio-product competitiveness and faster worldwide adoption”, said Guido Ghisolfi, Vice President of Corporate Operations and Research, Gruppo M&G. “The European market is particularly keen to move to bio-based products, and Genomatica’s strategy of greening the industry at its source offers today’s industry a painless and economically-beneficial way to make it happen.”
Completes feedstock diversity ‘trifecta’ of sugars, biomass and syngas from waste
“Our agreement with M&G further expands the feedstock flexibility we intend to deliver for the chemical industry”, said Christophe Schilling, CEO of Genomatica. “Depending on the geography they serve, our chemical industry partners will be able to sell sustainably-produced chemicals from their choice of conventional sugars and starches, cellulosic biomass, or syngas – all while delivering superior profitability compared to petrochemical processes, the ability to deploy economical smaller-scale plants, and a smaller environmental footprint.”
Figure 1: Genomatica plans to produce sustainable chemicals from sugars, biomass and syngas made from waste. Genomatica has signed agreements with industry leaders to accelerate this strategy. Source: Genomatica.
Genomatica is an emerging leader in sustainable chemicals: ‘greener’ intermediate and basic chemicals made from renewable feedstocks, rather than oil and gas. The company aims to transform the chemical industry through cost-advantaged, smaller-footprint products as direct replacements in a trillion-dollar market. Genomatica was named one of ‘10 Big Green Ideas’ by Newsweek, and was featured on Forbes.com.
Genomatica is moving to demonstration-scale production of its first product, Bio-BDO, through a strategic partnership with Tate & Lyle. BDO, an intermediate chemical with a $4 billion market worldwide, is used to make spandex, automotive plastics, running shoes and more.
Genomatica’s integrated bio-process engineering platform and extensive intellectual property allow it to rapidly develop organisms and processes to produce dozens of the most significant intermediate and basic chemicals from renewable feedstocks, like sugars, and later, from biomass and syngas.
Genomatica has raised $84 million from investors including Alloy Ventures, Bright Capital, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Mohr Davidow Ventures, TPG Biotech, VantagePoint Venture Partners and Waste Management.