Friday, July 08, 2011

LS9 Tests 2nd Generation Microbial Biodiesel in Brazil

Microbial biofuels and renewable chemicals company LS9 is working with Brazilian vehicle manufacturer and engineering firm, MAN Latin America to test LS9's 2nd generation biodiesel product.
LS9 UltraClean Diesel overcomes a number of the challenges of first-generation biodiesel, including high cost of production, poor oxidative stability, and/or poor cold flow. In April 2010, the fuel was officially registered with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) so it can be sold commercially in the United States.

LS9 modifies the ACP pathway in bacteria to produce renewable hydrocarbon fuels and chemicals with optimized properties, including UltraClean Diesel and surfactants, which LS9 is commercializing with one of its strategic partners, Procter and Gamble. _GCC

French startup Global Bioenergies is moving ahead with its microbial production of isobutene -- an important feedstock for high value chemical production. The product is made from plant sugars.

OPX Biotechnologies is developing the microbial production of renewable bio-acrylic. Acrylic from petroleum is an $8 billion annual market, globally. OPXBio is working with Dow chemical in developing microbially produced fuels and chemicals.

Choren Industries GmbH -- producer of 2nd generation biofuels from wood products via gasification -- has declared insolvency in connection with its German Freiberg plant. The company intends to consult with new investors soon.
A series of biofuel companies have declared insolvency in recent years after the German government changed course on biofuels, taxing the green fuels and scaling back previous incentives. _Reuters _ via _GSS
Choren's difficulties point out the danger of relying upon governmental incentives -- which are always subject to the whims of corrupt and small minded politicians.

Fuels markets are very volatile due to many factors, and newcomers such as biofuels -- lacking the huge infrastructure at all levels which petroleum fuels enjoy -- will have to swim against the current for a number of years yet. The high value chemicals markets, on the other hand, offer a ripe and juicy opportunity for clever and efficient companies in many sectors -- including biotechnology startups and more established industrial entities who wish to partner with renewable chemicals startups.

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