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Microvi Biotech Demonstrates Breakthrough Improvements to Biological Ethanol Production

Microvi is a leading biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures, and commercializes innovative biocatalytic technologies in water, energy and chemical industries.

Microvi’s technology uses engineered biocatalyst composites which have been synthetically designed to 1) alleviate ethanol toxicity on the cells which produce it, 2) induce higher feedstock conversion yields and efficiencies and 3) enable robust and repeatable continuous fermentation. The technology, now commercially available, is also designed to limit microbial contaminants in the production process.

In the first phase of the Microvi-ABPDU collaboration, Microvi’s biocatalytic technology was compared with a conventional yeast ethanol production (control) system run in parallel, at bench scale, at the ABPDU. The investigation showed that even under non-optimized conditions, the Microvi technology achieved higher performance values than the control system:

  • Bio-ethanol productivity nearly doubled (8.15 g L-1 h-1 vs. 3.95 g L-1 h-1).
  • Feedstock conversion yields approached theoretical maximum (99.8% vs. 77.4%).
  • Achievement of higher titer (24.05% vs 18.39% ethanol v/v).
  • Minimal production of acetic acid, an undesirable side product seen in some ethanol fermentations due to contamination or metabolic stress.

“These results validate the revolutionary performance achievable with Microvi biocatalytic processes,” said Fatemeh Shirazi, CEO of Microvi. “This validation study, like other ongoing third-party validations of various Microvi technologies, show the promise of Microvi’s biomimetic approach—design inspired by nature—to enhance bioconversion processes.”

Press Release
Innovative Microvi Bio-Ethanol Technology Validated at Lawrence Berkeley National Labs
DOE Awards Microvi Grant for Innovative Biogas Conversation Technology


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