Since 1991, Dr. Mark Holtzapple’s research group has been developing the carboxylate platform, a process that converts biomass to carboxylic acids (e.g., acetic, propionic, butyric acids). These acids are valuable chemicals, and also can be used as intermediates to produce industrial chemicals and fuels.
The process uses a mixed culture of microorganisms to digest biomass into carboxylic acids, which emulates natural fermentations that occur in cattle rumen. The carboxylic acids are recovered and can be used in various applications, such as food preservatives and nutraceuticals. Chemical transformations – some of which use hydrogen as a co-reactant – convert the carboxylic acids to industrial chemicals (e.g., ketones, esters, aldehydes, ethers, alcohols) and carbon-neutral fuels (e.g., gasoline, jet fuel).
The process is being commercialized by BioVeritas, which recently received a commitment of $65 million to build a manufacturing facility. More details are found at the following links:
- Ara Partners Commits $65 Million in Additional Capital to BioVeritas
- BioVeritas hits the rapids with a $65M injection from Ara Partners and bio-ingredients destiny!