Engineering Microbial Fatty Acids Metabolism as a Platform for Renewable Fuel and Chemicals Manufacture

F. Sanchez-Riera
Renewable Energy Group Life Sciences,
United States

Keywords: biofuel, biomass diesel


REG (Renewable Energy Group) is North America leading biomass diesel producer and is committed to expand its capability to offer cleaner, low carbon footprint products. REG Life Sciences, its subsidiary focused on industrial biotechnology, has created a pipeline of high value and commodity renewable chemical products that complement REG's fuel business, while taking advantage of REG extensive expertise in manufacturing and commercialization. REG Life Sciences has developed a molecular toolbox and a series of industrial microorganisms that enable the production of a diverse portfolio of fatty acid derivatives directly from carbohydrates. Microbial fatty acid biosynthesis is one of the most energetically efficient ways to generate the backbone for hydrocarbons. When this pathway is optimized in combination with a cell engineering strategy that uses those fatty acids as raw materials for other biological conversions inside the cell, the result is a very powerful platform that allows the production of thousands of different products. Multiple carbohydrates can be used as raw materials in the process. This presentation will focus on the technical approach to the creation of the platform, the fermentation and recovery processes, and provide examples of products that have been manufactured at a multi ton scale.