Formulating New Cellulases for Diverse Markets: Defining QA Parameters

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2012-02174
Agency Tracking Number: 2012-02174
Amount: $450,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2012
Solicitation Topic Code: 8.8
Solicitation Number: USDA-NIFA-SBIR-003621
Small Business Information
826 SHERWOOD OAKS LN, Jonesboro, AR, 72404-9092
DUNS: 784152840
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Kendall Hood
 Vice President, Technolgoy
 (870) 897-4827
Business Contact
 Elizabeth Hood
Title: CEO
Phone: (870) 926-9566
Research Institution
Biomass to biofuels can provide solutions for energy independence, lower cost of fuels and global climate change mitigation. However, to achieve the goal of converting biomass into biofuels, the biomass must be broken down into its component sugars so they can be fermented into fuels. Cellulases are proteins (enzymes) that can breakdown biomass into sugars. Currently these enzymes are not abundant enough or inexpensive enough for widespread use in the biomass industry. Traditional manufacturing methods using microbial production systems are cost prohibitive in part because of the huge upfront capital costs. In contrast, Infinite Enzymes cellulases from recombinant corn seed can lower both upfront capital costs as well as the unit cost of production. Furthermore, the cost of production will continue to decrease as IE scales-up and uses newer corn production lines that yield higher levels of cellulase, driving cost down even more. This project is designed to develop products that will enter early markets for cellulases as purified enzymes and concentrated extracts for the research and pulp-processing markets, respectively. Although the corn-based production system appears lucrative, the potential products have not been characterized from activity, stability, repeatability and scalability standpoints. This Phase II grant is critical to the profitability of the Company in marketing our second phase products,i.e., cellulases for reagent and pulp processing markets. In addition, we are seeking partners for biomass conversion work based on Phase II results.Using plants for production of industrial enzymes capitalizes on tractable and highly scalable agricultural production systems. The plant system offers a new revenue stream to farmers and enables numerous industries because of the potential for low cost and large volumes possible without capital expenditure. The Company focus is plant-powered production of industrial enzymes in seed. Although cellulases are our first product, our plan is to produce many enzymes for large scale biobased industries using this platform technology.

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

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