Amyris produce cellulosic hydrocarbon biofuel

Amyris Biotechnologies says it can make a hydrocarbon biofuel that resembles components in current petrol, diesel and jet fuel. Unlike other cellulosic startups, California based Amyris, spun out from the University of California, Berkeley in 2003, isn’t making ethanol. Amyris use their unique technology platform to produce high-value hydrocarbons from a variety of renewable feedstocks including sugarcane, corn and cellulose.

Amyris, with just under 100 employees, and growing, has some high profile backers for its biofuel project, including Khosla Ventures and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. They are looking to build a 100,000 gallon a year pilot plant that begins operation in late 2008 or early 2009. Commercial biodiesel production is expected to commence in late 2010 or early 2011, with its bio-gasoline following a year or two after that. Another year after that comes the company’s bio-jet fuel.

Source: cleantech, Amyris Biotechnologies  (thanks for the tip Geoff)


3 Responses

  1. can this be done? do you think it can rival cost of currant fuel supplys? do you work for amyris?

  2. Emmitt,

    To answer your questions:

    All I’m saying is that Amyris are saying they can do it. Choren in Germany is making synthetic diesel out of biomass so I don’t see why Amyris can’t do the same.

    One of two things needs to happen for this to be feasible. It either has to be made at a price that competes with fuel at current prices or fuel prices need to increase so the more expensive technologies are competitive. At a guess I’d say Amyris are trying to make it as cheaply as possible while hoping the price of fuel goes up so they can maximise their profit.

    No I do not work for Amyris. Just in case anyone else is wondering, I’m not affiliated with any company I write about on this web site. I work for a small Defence company here in Australia. You can find out more by viewing my profile on LinkedIn. If I am ever involved with a company I write about I will say so in the article.


  3. man if this is successful, obviously the biggest advantage would be that we don’t have to sell or modify our cars in any way! I’m also talking about the tens of millions of beat down wagons of yesteryear that so many people who can’t afford new cars rely on. Second advantage unless I’m mistaken is that the process would be carbon neutral, no turning fossil liquid into gas here. This development would definitely do to fossil fuels, what the refrigerator did to salt and finally fossil fuels would assume their rightful place i.e. source of petroleum jelly for Vaseline and making plastics etc.

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