Energy Efficiency / Environmental Health & Safety

DOE Awards Farnesene Contract To Amyris

By Chemical Processing Staff

Aug 09, 2016

Amyris, Inc. wins a three-year multi-million dollar contract from the U.S. Department of Energy to further the manufacturing of cellulose-derived farnesene for biofuels. Amyris, in cooperation with Renmatix and Total New Energies USA, will work to develop a manufacturing-ready process utilizing wood as the cellulosic feedstock to produce farnesene, a hydrocarbon building block used to manufacture a variety of products ranging from cosmetics to detergents, as well as base oils, lubricants, diesel and jet fuel.

"Success in this project could enable farnesene cost below $1 a liter, which will deliver breakthrough results in a variety of products, including biofuels, while at the same time leveraging the existing large forestry infrastructure to utilize renewable wood sources and wood waste as a sugar source to produce it," says John Melo, president and CEO of Amyris.

Advancements in the use of cellulosic materials as a source of low-cost sugars for fermentation are anticipated to bring down the cost of production and have the potential to increase geographical distribution of manufacturing plants, especially in rural areas in need of new economic opportunities, according to Amyris.  Amyris’ goal is to produce farnesene at the same projected cost of current farnesene produced from sugarcane syrup.

Amyris expects to receive several million dollars annually over the term of the contract, according to the company.

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