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Novel Process for Biomass Conversion

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0011389
Agency Tracking Number: 209419
Amount: $224,997.03
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 21q
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0000969
Solicitation Year: 2014
Award Year: 2014
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2014-02-18
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2014-11-17
Small Business Information
350 West 800 North
Salt Lake City, UT 84103-1441
United States
DUNS: 829431076
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Mukund Karanjikar
 (281) 217-3471
Business Contact
 Mukund Karanjikar
Title: Dr.
Phone: (281) 217-3471
Research Institution

The global GDP has gone up from $38 Trillion in 2000 to $60 Trillion in 2009. Price increase in consumer products is directly proportional to rate of growth of global GDP. Fatty acids form the basic building blocks of skincare as well as personal hygiene consumer products. Within the last decade, fatty acid prices have more than quadrupled. Fatty acids with carbon range of C8 to C12 are produced from coconut oil. More than 85% of global coconut oil is produced in Indonesia, Philippines and India. The United States is entirely dependent upon these countries for imports. Moreover, there is no additional land availability in these countries to accommodate the market growth. C8 to C12 fatty acids can be converted to gasoline and jet fuel via commercial processes. Thus, a combination of limited supply and continued demand growth necessitates alternative sources of these fatty acids. Current approaches of phototrophic conversion suffer from numerous challenges including photobioreactor design and unfavorable process economics. Technology Holding LLC in collaboration with University of Wisconsin GLBRC (Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center) proposes a novel process to produce intermediate chain fatty acids from lignocellulosic biomass. These fatty acids are feedstock for consumer products as well as pre-cursors for infrastructure compatible jet fuel. The proposed process utilizes metabolically engineered E. coli bacteria to ferment biomass-derived sugars to fatty acids. The team will demonstrate techno-economic feasibility and scale-up. The proposed innovation, upon commercialization, will enable domestic manufacturing of these high value fatty acids, reduction in imports, reduction in greenhouse gas impact and creation of jobs.

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

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