Microvi Biotechnologies has been awarded a grant to develop its technology to improve yield and performance of biobutanol processes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). According to Microvi, their technology overcomes the toxic and inhibitory effects on butanol producing microorganisms, a major bottleneck in scaling existing biobutanol processes. Its butanol technology is based on the their MicroNiche Engineering, a process that enhances microbial physiology and optimizes enzymatic performance.
“A diversified energy future based on biobutanol and other low-cost biofuels requires new technologies for maximizing feedstock conversion efficiency and reducing operating costs,” said Ameen Razavi, Director of Innovation Research. “Through this effort, we open a new paradigm for managing toxic stresses for biobutanol production leading to economical production.”
Based on preliminary investigation Microvi’s technology has shown that it substantially increases the titer concentration of butanol over its solubility limit leading to effective biobutanol production. Microvi’s technology is also expected to provide economic advantages such as reduced water usage, waste production and energy use. Biobutanol processes using Microvi’s technology would benefit from reduced capital and operating costs. The technology will be retrofitable in existing bioethanol processes and work with any microorganism including genetically modified organisms.