Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Renewable Chemicals: Codexis and Cargill Develop Microbial Process to Use Corn, Not Petroleum, as Feedstock

Renewable Chemicals: Codexis and Cargill Develop Microbial Process to Use Corn, Not Petroleum, as Feedstock (June 20, 2005; Green Car Congress) referring to: Biotech Breakthrough Will Favorably Impact the U.S. Chemical Industry (June 20, 2005, bio.org)

PHILADELPHIA, PA. (June 20, 2005) -- Codexis and Cargill, members of the Biotechnology Industry Organization’s (BIO) Industrial and Environmental Section, today announced a breakthrough in developing a novel microbial process that will convert corn sugar to a chemical intermediate. This process is an important milestone in the development of a new renewable chemical platform. When fully commercialized, the industrial biotech process will convert dextrose derived from corn to a chemical intermediate known as 3, hydroxyproprionic acid (3HP).

The new process will utilize very low-cost, clean agricultural feedstocks instead of petroleum to produce 3HP. 3HP is a key intermediate for several commercially important chemicals. The chemicals that can be produced from 3HP include acrylic acid, acrylamide and 1,3 propanediol. Acrylic acid and its derivatives are used to create a wide range of polymer-based consumer and industrial products, such as adhesives, paints, polishes, protective coatings, and sealants. This new process is cheaper and more environmental friendly than the old process that uses petroleum as a feedstock.

“Industrial biotechnology converges seamlessly with other scientific disciplines and is a powerful source of innovation for new products and processes,