Microvi Awarded USDA Grant for Breakthrough Butanol Production Technology

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded Microvi Biotechnologies a grant to develop a breakthrough technology to dramatically improve the yield and performance of biobutanol processes. The technology overcomes toxic and inhibitory effects on butanol producing microorganisms, a major bottleneck in scaling existing biobutanol processes.

“A diversified energy future based on biobutanol and other low-cost biofuels requires new technologies for maximizing feedstock conversion efficiency and reducing operating costs” said Ameen Razavi, Director of Innovation Research. “Through this effort, we open a new paradigm for managing toxic stresses for biobutanol production leading to economical production.”Microvi’s butanol technology is based on the company’s MicroNiche Engineering™ platform, a process which enhances microbial physiology and optimizes enzymatic performance.

As a fuel or gasoline additive, bioutanol has many advantages over ethanol, including drop-in capability, higher energy content and better transport and handling properties.  In addition, butanol can also be used as a building block for chemical manufacturing.

Based on preliminary investigations, Microvi’s technology has shown substantial increases in the titer of butanol over its solubility limit. Microvi’s technology is also expected to provide economic advantages such as reduced water usage, waste production and energy use.  Biobutanol processes using Microvi’s technology would benefit from reduced capital and operating costs. The technology will be retrofitable in existing bioethanol processes and work with any microorganism including genetically modified organisms.

Microvi’s biobutanol technology can help achieve energy independence, diversify uses of agricultural and rural resources and reduce negative economic and environmental impacts associated with dependence on petroleum.

About USDA
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) works to support the American agricultural economy to strengthen rural communities; to protect and conserve our natural resources; and to provide a safe, sufficient, and nutritious food supply for the American people.

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