Evry, France – Global Bioenergies has produced isobutene – a monomer used in the production of butyl rubber – by fermentation based solely on xylose as a feedstock, the company has announced.
The xylose-based products performed similarly to those obtained when running the process on wheat-derived glucose or sugar beet-derived sucrose, said the 19 Aug statement.
According to the French company, the production strain’s central metabolism has been “fundamentally remodelled” using an innovative synthetic biology approach.”
The isobutene process was first developed by Global Bioenergies using glucose derived from cereals such as wheat or corn. Early in 2015, the company announced that the process was compatible with crude “second generation” sugars derived from agricultural and forestry waste.
These resources, notes the company, are composed of a complex mix of various sugars including glucose, a six-carbon molecule, and sugars composed of five carbon atoms and in particular xylose, literally “wood sugar”.
“We continue to diversify the resources compatible with the isobutene process. Our process shows limited sensitivity to second generation impurities. In addition, it appears robust and highly adaptable to various resources,” said Frédéric Pâques, chief operations officer of Global Bioenergies.
CEO of Global Bioenergies Marc Delcourt added: “The valorisation of agricultural and forestry waste is a nascent industry which represents an important opportunity for Global Bioenergies.
“Once they are available in large quantities, these affordable resources would enable further reduction of bio-isobutene production costs and facilitate technology deployment in the context of volatile petrochemical prices.”