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Global Bioenergies reaches 87% of yield target in isobutene process

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Global Bioenergies (GBE) has announced that a new milestone has been met in the development of its isobutene process.

The company announced a yield exceeding 87% of the final target during the complete production phase, at laboratory scale. The productivity is also progressing. Yield and productivity meet expectations for profitable exploitation of the process at commercial scale for applications such as cosmetics.

GBE’s goal is to provide a bio-based isobutene process able to compete pricewise with fuels and materials derived from oil. The higher the performances, the lower the production costs, and thus the broader the range of applications that can be exploited profitably. Since more than 70% of the costs at commercial scale will be represented by the feedstock (the industrial grade sugar that is converted into isobutene), the most important parameter is yield.

In order to reach this milestone, GBE has built new bacterial strains, with an entirely redesigned carbon metabolism. When provided with a powerful isobutene route, the new strains achieve more than 87% of the final target yield over the whole production phase, meaning that 87% of the sugar consumed by the strains is directly contributing to produce isobutene.

In addition, the new strains show a markedly better productivity. Productivity is the speed at which strains convert sugars into isobutene, and translates into OPEX and CAPEX cost, which will represent the remaining 30% of the costs at commercial scale.

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