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Production of Renewable Solvents and Monomers from Lignocellulosic Feedstocks

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0022429
Agency Tracking Number: 0000271379
Amount: $1,650,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: C53-30b
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2023
Award Year: 2023
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2023-04-03
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2025-04-02
Small Business Information
1906 Haste St
Berkeley, CA 94704
United States
DUNS: 078499190
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Deepak Dugar
 (617) 955-4626
Business Contact
 Deepak Dugar
Phone: (617) 955-4626
Research Institution

C53-30b-271379Growing concerns over the impact of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on the climate have stimulated the search for long-term strategies for producing fuels, and chemicals from renewable sources of carbon. The challenge is to find innovative technologies and sustainable alternatives that preserve the range of materials and products currently derived from petroleum while limiting the deleterious effects of anthropogenic climate change, associated with its use. One promising technology is to utilize the abundant, inexpensive lignocellulosic feedstocks and its conversion to a series of biological and catalytic procedures into high-value chemicals used in the polymer, plastics, and transportation industries. During Phase I of this grant, Visolis demonstrated the feasibility of a hybrid bio-thermocatalytic process using engineered microbes to convert cellulosic C5/C6 sugars arising from a wide variety of lignocellulosic biomass feedstocks into high value bioproducts for the plastics and polymers industries. Visolis has already developed catalytic processes to convert the platform molecule into various chemicals that are of high value to the plastics, and transportation industries. Visolis have demonstrated in establishing the feasibility of the proposed process and haver shown results as a proof of our concept in Phase I and have identified specific bottlenecks, which are addressed in the Phase II. The overall objective in Phase II is to demonstrate monomer production from cellulosic feedstocks via mevalonate as an intermediate by scaling up the proposed process to pilot scale and to fine-tune the processes integration for running a commercial-scale plant. The key technology developed under the Phase II is to utilize the abundant lignocellulosic biomass feedstocks and produce a sustainable green alternative to the traditional petrochemical-based processes at a cost-competitive price, without any food security concerns, into plastics, polymers, and fuel additives. During Phase II of this project, we will further optimize our production strains and fermentation parameters in order to increase product titers and yields as well as integrate and scale up our process into a pilot plant while preserving the performance metrics. Phase II will also target for high volume of mevalonolactone production in 20L bioreactors, so that high volume of mevalonate and products can be produced in the pilot scale to significantly de-risk commercializing the process. Key to the success of the commercialization effort will be the successful completion of Phase II, meeting all the yield and quality targets, and securing partners, ideally one of the end-users of our products. The successful prototyping of our process at pilot scale will enable us to attract partners and investors to bring this technology to market. Upon full development, our process will produce a portfolio of high-value renewable chemicals, with several economic advantages, including lower feedstock cost, greater feedstock flexibility, inexpensive product synthesis/separation and in the displacement of fossil fuels.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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