January 14, 2013

$2.3 Million DOE Grant Will Support MBI, Novozymes Partnership

MBI International, the Lansing, MI-based subsidiary of Michigan State University that helps companies scale up bio-based tech endeavors, has partnered with Novozymes to win a $2.3 million U.S. Department of Energy grant. The grant will support the development of new enzyme-based methods to convert corn stover into sugars, which can then be turned into biofuels, plastics, or polymers, says Allen Julian, MBI’s chief business officer.

January 13, 2013

MBI assists Verdezyne team in renewable chemicals biotech project

CARLSBAD, Calif. (April 21, 2014) — Verdezyne, Inc., a privately-held industrial biotechnology company focused on producing renewable chemicals, announced today that it has produced more than one metric ton of bio-based dodecanedioic acid (DDDA) using its proprietary yeast platform and downstream process. The Michigan Biotechnology Institute (MBI) and the Michigan State University (MSU) Bioeconomy Institute (BEI) worked with Verdezyne to run the bio-based DDDA process at the 4,000-liter scale. This production confirmed the scalability of Verdezyne’s process and produced polymer-grade material for potential customers and partners.

“Technology transfer to MSU (MBI/BEI) and scale-up of our process was seamless, and exceeded our expectations,” said José M. Laplaza, Ph.D., Verdezyne’s Director of Metabolic Engineering and DDDA Program Manager. “This is a testament to the strong technology team we have assembled at Verdezyne, the expertise of the MSU (MBI/BEI) staff and the robustness of our proprietary process.”

Dodecanedioic acid is a dicarboxylic acid used to make nylon 6,12, molding resins, lubricants, adhesives, and powder coatings, as well as end products such as fishing line, toothbrush bristles and fuel lines. This industrial chemical is currently made from petroleum-based intermediates.

“Michigan State University and the MSU Bioeconomy Institute are committed to providing regional, state and national support for innovative and green process development,” said William Freckman, Director of Operations of the MSU Bioeconomy Institute. “We are pleased to provide scale-up services for Verdezyne’s emerging technology.”

“MBI is proud to have been able to assist the Verdezyne team in their efforts to develop and scale-up this important new technology, and we wish them great success as they move to commercialization,” said Allen Julian, Chief Business Officer of MBI.

Read more in BusinessWire.

About MBI

MBI (Michigan Biotechnology Institute) is both a premier multidisciplinary center sought out by industry partners for unique derisking capabilities—and a mission-inspired 501(c)(3) not-for-profit that collaboratively accelerates the commercialization of bio-based technologies. MBI is known for pioneering derisking, a process that quickly and cost-effectively fails flawed technologies while accelerating viable ones through a stage-gated innovation process. Lansing, Michigan-based MBI engages with universities, research institutions and corporations to develop sustainable fuels, chemicals, food and feed. Collaborators have included DuPont, Genomatica and Novozymes. MBI has also worked with Michigan State University and Cargill to develop PLA, the first biodegradable polymer in global use. Technologies developed at MBI are recognized and trusted worldwide. Learn more at www.www.mbi.org.

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January 11, 2013

Novozymes and MBI Win $2.5 Million DOE Award for Game-Changing Technology

LANSING, Mich. (Jan. 11, 2013) — The U.S. Department of Energy has announced that it has awarded MBI and Novozymes up to $2.5 million — following a previous$4.3 million Department of Energy award to MBI — to develop new enzyme-based technologies to convert corn stover into sugars for subsequent conversion into biofuels.

Novozymes, a world-leading enzyme company, brings its depth of expertise in enzyme screening and development to the partnership, while MBI brings its innovative AFEXTM biomass processing technology.

“There are two major challenges in converting agricultural biomass into biobased products,” said Allen Julian, Chief Business Officer of MBI. “One is the challenge of handling, storing and hauling low-density biomass to the refinery, and the other is the challenge of breaking down the biomass cost-effectively into its constituent sugars.”

AFEX technology can be practiced in depots close to the farm, allowing dense biomass pellets to be economically stored and shipped to a distant biorefinery. In addition, AFEX alters the biomass structure so that enzymes can more effectively break the biomass down into fermentable sugars.

The Novozymes/MBI collaboration is aimed at tailoring enzymes for AFEX-treated biomass, which will in turn enable the production of low-cost fermentable sugars. Such non-food biomass sugars can be converted into bio-based fuels, chemicals and other products.

MBI previously won a $4.3 million Department of Energy award to develop and scale up its AFEX technology. Under this project, MBI is currently completing the installation of a 1 ton-per-day pilot-scale AFEX reactor at its Lansing, Michigan facility.

Read more on businesswire.com

About MBI

MBI (Michigan Biotechnology Institute) is both a premier multidisciplinary center sought out by industry partners for unique derisking capabilities—and a mission-inspired 501(c)(3) not-for-profit that collaboratively accelerates the commercialization of bio-based technologies. MBI is known for pioneering derisking, a process that quickly and cost-effectively fails flawed technologies while accelerating viable ones through a stage-gated innovation process. Lansing, Michigan-based MBI engages with universities, research institutions and corporations to develop sustainable fuels, chemicals, food and feed. Collaborators have included DuPont, Genomatica and Novozymes. MBI has also worked with Michigan State University and Cargill to develop PLA, the first biodegradable polymer in global use. Technologies developed at MBI are recognized and trusted worldwide. Learn more at www.www.mbi.org.

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