Cobalt Demonstrates Strain Fermentation Process

By Chemical Processing Staff

Mar 13, 2012

Cobalt Technologies has conducted a demonstration of its advanced biocatalyst fermentation process, during which multiple fermentation campaigns were completed in a 9,000 liter fermenter. Performed at the NREL Integrated Biorefinery Research Facility in the National Bioenergy Center facilities in Golden, Colo., the test exceeded the target yield and other performance metrics for a commercial scale facility.

Partnering with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Cobalt demonstrated the ability to convert non-food based substrates into renewable n-butanol. Tests resulted in high sugar conversion (the amount of sugar consumed by the bacteria) and high yields of butanol (the amount of butanol produced by the bacteria). 

According to the company, the demonstration validated the ability of its Non-GMO biocatalyst to perform at commercial scale, in addition to confirming that the process to produce renewable butanol is 40% to 60% less expensive than production of petroleum-based butanol using the traditional oxo-alcohol process.

While the technology can perform on a continuous basis, the test was conducted using batch processes to demonstrate flexibility. The butanol produced will be sent to customers for company-specific certification, allowing it to be incorporated into existing chemical-based products like paints, solvents or plastics.

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