B2Bioworld reader service: Thermoanaerobacter, phylogenetic treeDirevo’s Claims to Process Lignocellulose to Lactic Acid

Comment on milestone reached*

March 2013. Reaching this milestone was a requirement by current investors (management, Leif Kjærgaard, Gerhard Prante, NRW Bank, TVM, others) to inject further capital into the company. Mid-February current shareholders decided during their meeting to increase basic capital by 24% and pay in €3.5m ( £3m; $4.5m).

Since 2010 Leibniz-Institut für Agrartechnik Potsdam-Bornim e.V. (ATB) is running a publicly funded research project about enzymes for conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to C5, C6 sugars. This project has been achieved with contributions by Vitaly Svetlichnyi (СВЕТЛИЧНЫЙ Виталий). It also involves Russian partners.

Ongoing competing commercial R&D is performed by the group of Deok-Kun Oh at Konkuk University (Seoul KR). These researchers are using cellobiose 2-epimerase from a strain of caldicellulosiruptor saccharolyticus to produce lactulose. Chinese researchers at Shanghai Jiao Tong University have genetically engineered a thermophylic endo-xylanase from a strain by caldicellulosiruptor bescii DSM 6725. The group led by Feng Yan claims that it can be used for papermaking as well as for food, feed or textiles. They say it has good thermal stability and resistance to metal ions, organic solvents, and surfactants. ed


* Reference: Company Press Release

Direvo reaches milestone in consolidated bioprocessing of lignocellulose to lactic acid

B2Bioworld service: Direvo's experimental results12-03-13. Direvo Industrial Biotechnology GmbH, Köln (DE) reached an important milestone in developing a bioprocess for lactic acid production from lignocellulose. Up until now, there has not been any known consolidated bioprocess for producing lactic acid from lignocellulose. Consolidated bioprocessing is the conversion of lignocellulose into target products in a single step without having to add enzymes. Direvo develops consolidated bioprocesses for production of biofuels and biobased chemicals.

The Cologne company has now successfully built up a processing chain from pretreatment through fermentation to downstream processing for a consolidated bioprocess for lactic acid. On the basis of pretreated Miscanthus grass, Direvo fermented lactic acid on pilot scale in a single-step-synthesis. Direvo was further able to show that the important step of downstream processing of free lactic acid in the fermentation matrix can be realized efficiently by standardized procedures. The downstream processing was executed in collaboration with the department of bioengineering of the Leibniz-Institut für Agrartechnik Potsdam-Bornim e.V.

Direvo’s self-isolated proprietary microorganism Caldicellulosiruptor sp. produces the needed enzymes to ferment the pretreated biomass and converts the emerging sugar to end products. In these processes, no cost-intensive technical enzymes have to be added. A further advantage is that these microorganisms are extreme thermophile and therefore high process temperatures don't cause product losses through contamination with foreign bacteria. On the basis of this proof-of-concept, the next development stage to raise competitiveness in a commercial environment will be to increase the yield of lactic acid. Sources Direvo; B2Bioworld (Culture Data)


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