Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Green Biologics set to develop Next Generation Biofuel - supported by the Carbon Trust

18.10.2007
Green Biologics (GBL), an Oxfordshire industrial biotechnology company developing ‘next generation’ biofuels, has raised £1.58 million. The funding round involved existing shareholders as well as new investors, Carbon Trust Investments and Oxford Capital Partners who led the investment round. The Company has also marked the opening of a new laboratory facility at its headquarters at Milton Park, Oxfordshire.

GBL is developing Butafuel™, a superior and more sustainable liquid biofuel for transportation. ButafuelTM is based on an alcohol called butanol produced by a naturally occurring microbe in a sugar fermentation process that was first commercialised in the UK during the First World War but largely displaced by the 1960s with a cheaper petrochemical method. In addition to butanol, the fermentation process also produces acetone, an important solvent and chemical precursor for polymers and plastics.

GBL is ‘recommercialising’ the bio-butanol fermentation process by applying its skills in microbiology, molecular biology and fermentation, and has developed novel microbes and advanced high temperature fermentation processes. In addition, the Company targets waste feedstocks for fermentation from agricultural and industrial processes, such as paper and pulp, sugar processing, biodiesel production and food waste. This reduces the need for expensive waste treatment and diverts waste away from landfill. Utilisation of waste feedstocks for fermentation is more sustainable and environmentally friendly than use of food crops such as sugar beet, sugar cane, maize and wheat, the current feedstocks for bio-ethanol, a “first generation” biofuel. By optimising the fermentation process, and using cheaper waste feedstocks, GBL aims to achieve a two to three fold reduction in cost.

Green Biologics will use part of the new funding for a scaled-up, pilot demonstration of its proprietary fermentation process for bio-butanol on a range of model waste feedstocks in its extended laboratory facilities.

Dr Edward Green, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, of Green Biologics said: “We are delighted to have secured the new investment we need to scale up our butanol fermentation process. It is great to have the support of our existing shareholders and we welcome Carbon Trust Investments Limited and Oxford Capital Partners on board as new investors.

“First generation” biofuels such as bio-ethanol and bio-diesel have their limitations. These biofuels do not fit neatly into the existing fuel infrastructure and there are some concerns over their sustainability and longer term environmental impact. However, they are a good start and pave the way for “second generation” biofuels, such as butanol, which is a better fuel offering greater sustainability and environmental benefits. We believe that our Butafuel™ product will supersede “first generation” biofuels within five to ten years as a fuel extender and it ultimately has the potential to completely replace fossil fuels for road and air transport.”

Jonathan Bryers, Partner at Carbon Trust Investments, said: “Biofuels that are both cost effective and renewable will have a key role to play in creating a low carbon economy in the UK. The market is clearly interested in advanced biofuel technologies that can cost effectively process non crop feedstocks and in this case generate butanol with its associated benefits over ethanol. A key part of the Carbon Trust’s role is to provide investment in exciting companies like Green Biologics in order to bring low carbon businesses like this to market more quickly and we are delighted to come on board as a new investor.”

Dr Victor Christou, Investment Manager at Oxford Capital Partners, said: “Strong IP and know-how coupled with a unique technology skill base and proprietary micro-organism library means that Green Biologics is one of the most promising companies in the rapidly growing global biofuels sector. Oxford Capital Partners’ support for this Oxfordshire business reflects our confidence in the Green Biologics technology and together we aim to build another world class business based in the Oxford technosystem.”

Rick de Blaby, Chief Executive Officer of MEPC Milton Park, said: “Green Biologics is a superb example of the innovative, technology companies that thrive and grow at Milton Park. The Company has doubled in size over the past year and we were pleased to work with the Green Biologics team to provide the additional laboratory facilities needed to support the technical development of their Butafuel™ product. We wish Edward Green and his team every success with their demonstration tests.”

Biofuels are increasingly being adopted by key industry players in response to climate change proposals and the demands of environmentally aware consumers. In 2006 BP and Dupont announced plans to collaborate with British Sugar to manufacture butanol in the UK. BP provides a route for butanol into the transport fuel market and aims to blend butanol with conventional fossil fuels.

In addition, in an attempt to curb C02 emissions, the European Commission has proposed that biofuels should make up 10% of total fuel sales by 2020 which represents a huge increase in the market for biofuels. Within the UK, the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation will, from April 2008, require fuel suppliers to ensure that 2.5% of their total fuel sales are made up of biofuels, rising to 10% by 2020. The Government intends that butanol should count as a renewable transport fuel under the RTFO.

Dr Green concluded: “The fuel and chemical markets are ready for the re-introduction of butanol using our new fermentation techniques that both enable cost-effective production and avoid adverse environmental impact. We are attracting a network of potential partners who are interested in working with us to take forward the production of Butafuel™ as a viable alternative to petrochemicals and “first generation” biofuels.

“We envisage our Butafuel™ production units being fitted alongside plant sources, such as paper mills and sugar production facilities, so that we are located right next to the suppliers of waste materials. Plants with existing ethanol units could also be retro-fitted for butanol production. Longer term, the Company is committed towards the development of bio-refineries for the production of a range of biofuel and biochemicals from waste and a full range of cellulosic feedstocks.”

Margaret Henry | alfa
Further information:
http://greenbiologics.com

Further reports about: Biologics Butafuel™ Butanol Carbon Environmental Fermentation Investor develop existing feedstocks

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht The balancing act: An enzyme that links endocytosis to membrane recycling
07.12.2016 | National Centre for Biological Sciences

nachricht Transforming plant cells from generalists to specialists
07.12.2016 | Duke University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

NTU scientists build new ultrasound device using 3-D printing technology

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

The balancing act: An enzyme that links endocytosis to membrane recycling

07.12.2016 | Life Sciences

How to turn white fat brown

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>