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Bioproduced propylene a step closer for Global Bioenergies

Clean chemical developers Global Bioenergies (GB) claims to be able to demonstrate a direct way of producing propylene from renewable sources.

GB believes the market for propylene stands at $93 billion (€72.2 billion), mainly through the packaging and car industries, and that currently there is no known natural pathways leading to propylene in microorganisms.

‘Designing such an artificial metabolic pathway and experimentally identifying an enzyme candidate for each of the segments represented one of the main scientific and technological challenges in industrial biology,’ says president of GB’s scientific advisory board Philippe Marlière.

GB will engineer more active enzymes to be implemented into microbial strains moving forward, with a view to producing a process prototype.

‘We had said that one of our goals was to replicate to other olefins the success already obtained for isobutene. The box has now been ticked for one of our main targets,’ adds GB CEO Marc Delcourt. ‘We expect to partner with major industrialists to develop a propylene bioprocess based on our present metabolic assets. I can foresee a world in which plants will be one of the dominating resources for car production.’