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Amyris Pilot Plant Online

It seems like every day another microbe-based biofuel startup announces its presence, and gets its 15 minutes of only today cialis 20 mg fame. However, only a few of these startups are anywhere near ready to bring their technology to scale. It is important to focus on discount cialis india these companies, because that step – bringing the technology to scale – is the biggest challenge, the highest hurdle to levitra info clear.

This week, by opening up a pilot plant in California, Amyris hopes to show that they can do just that.  They aren’t the only ones this far along the path to commercialization – Petrosun, Solazyme, Greenfuel and Sapphire are hard at work trying to grow algae in a variety of ways.

What’s Amyris’ angle?  First of all, they aren't growing algae, but rather yeast.  They are experts when it comes to customized genetic engineering. They started out as a pharmaceutical company, mass producing an anti-malaria drug. They did so by tweaking the metabolic pathways in their yeast - essentially using the organisms as factories, and rearranging the machines to build the exact chemical they wanted. Now they are applying that technique to biofuel. Rather than simply picking organisms with high fat content (which is what most of the algae startups are doing), Amyris is designing a yeast strain that will make a proprietary molecule that they have chosen specifically because it will make a good fuel.

Now that the pilot plant is operational, Amyris expects another year and half before they start full scale commercial production. Until then, it looks like one of the issues they will be focusing on is sourcing the sugars they need to viagra generic 100mg feed the yeast. They have recently partnered with a Brazilian company, Crystalsev, which currently operates ethanol plants. Crystalsev already has plenty of feedstock (which they use to make ethanol), and they also have the infrastructure necessary to export and distribute the fuel.

Via Earth2Tech

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Comments (8)Add Comment
Not Algae
written by Doug, November 12, 2008
Amyris uses a genetically modified yeast - not algae.
written by Craig, November 12, 2008
Thanks for the link to my article, but Doug is right. Amyris does not work with algae. They use genetically-modified yeast to turn sugar from sugarcane into fuels.
written by Clinch, November 12, 2008
"Solazyme is growing their algae in the dark"

Am I the only one who finds that strange?

Also, if they're going to use genetic engineering, why don't they have the microbes produce diesel (or other biofuels) directly, rather than having them having to be processed?
my mistake
written by Yoni, November 12, 2008
Sorry about that, guys. My bad.
written by nicster, November 12, 2008
Growing algae in the dark might be strange but growing yeast in the dark is anything but. They don't need light to do their work.

As for why they don't produce diesel directly, it's likely that diesel would kill the buying viagra without a prescription organism. Instead they probably produce something that is non-toxic but can be easily converted to diesel (probably by simply cracking a bond or two).

Unfortunately, they're still using sugar as the starting point which means that they're not solving the current problem of how do look there viagra canada online pharmacy you start using waste products rather than food products as the starting point for energy production.
written by Jacob, November 12, 2008
Algae are photosynthesizers, you can't grow them in the dark.
Sugar cane not algae
written by OIFSeabee, November 13, 2008
Amyris uses sugar cane as a feed stock. Never heard a word about algae from them. You may want to check your facts ecogeek.
written by bbm, November 14, 2008
Algae are photosynthesizers, you can't grow them in the dark.

Sure you can. By feeding them sugar, as Solazyme is doing, you don't need light to synthesize the sugar they use as an energy substrate to reproduce and create fatty acids.

As for why they don't produce diesel directly, it's likely that diesel would kill the organism.

That's possible, but there's no reason they couldn't make a molecule that, unlike ethanol, phases out of water (a hydrocarbon, for example) and therefore would not reach toxic concentrations. This could easily be skimmed off without the energy intensive seperation step of distillation required in ethanol production.

Yes, the use of sugar as an input is limiting, but its a LOT better than, say, conventional corn ethanol.

This is a great site:

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