Unprecedented Titers of Butanol Achieved Using Microvi MNE Platform

Microvi’s suite of butanol biocatalysts create a paradigm shift in process economics for the production of biobutanols.  Microvi has demonstrated the use of its MicroNiche Engineering™ (MNE™) technology to produce biocatalysts that can substantially increase the titer of n-butanol or isobutanol production while maintaining productivity.  MNE optimizes the biocatalyst for the producer’s chosen microorganism. 

Microvi recently demonstrated the successful application of MNE for enhanced production of n-butanol. The trials have been funded by a USDA grant with results showing that MNE has a higher titer and yield compared to conventional fermentation processes.  In addition, MNE shows greater survival of cells and resistance to toxicity with longer term performance. 

“Our technology has the potential to drastically shift the way the world produces butanol.” said Dr. Fatemeh Shirazi, CEO and CTO of Microvi. “The work we have been able to accomplish has significant impacts on the industry.” 

Over the past decade, significant public and private resources have been invested to unlock the potential benefits of renewable fuels and bio-based chemicals. Butanol is widely considered an important commodity chemical with widespread uses and is also used as a “drop-in” fuel, fuel additive and raw material for diesel and jet fuels. 

The Microvi MNE technology uses novel biocatalytic composites (biocatalysts) that intensify biological processes, while maintaining a controlled population of microorganisms at a much higher density than existing technologies.  Although butanol production using microorganisms has been known for more than a century, its high production cost in the current economic landscape remains a key challenge. Specifically, the conventional production of butanol has produced low yields and titers, subsequently leading to prohibitively high downstream recovery costs.

The ability of Microvi’s MNE technology to overcome many of these challenges will help catalyse the potential adoption of renewable butanol in the chemical and fuel sectors.  The MNE technology introduces a new paradigm for developing next generation processes, industrial biocatalysts, and expanding the use of biocatalysis within the water, wastewater, and the biobased chemicals industries.

About Microvi

Microvi is a green technology company based in the San Francisco Bay Area that delivers next-generation biotechnologies for the water, wastewater and renewable chemical industries. Microvi offers commercial technologies around the world to reduce waste, increase productivity and provide disruptive economics across the value chain. Learn more at www.microvi.com.




Karin Kidder
VP of Marketing, Microvi
1 (510) 344-0668