New catalyst technology unlocks low-cost sugar avenue

Flagship VentureLabs has announced Midori Renewables is to deploy a new catalyst technology which melts non-food biomass into low-cost sugar.

The technology, branded Breaking the Biomass Barrier, is a solid material, not an enzyme, micro-organism or aqueous acid, that can be separated from the reaction and reused for the production of renewable products and animal feed.

‘We evaluated hundreds of technologies before we invented our own solid catalyst, which is a true way to produce low-cost sugars for sustainable bio-based products,’ says Brian Baynes, founder and chairman of Midori and partner at Flagship VentureLabs. ‘People have been trying to cost-effectively break down cellulose in biomass for more than 100 years and we have finally done it.’

Midori's technology has been effective on various biomass feedstocks and can bolt-on to existing corn, sugarcane or palm oil processing facilities. It has been testing its technology in a range of markets over the past 12 months, including renewable fuels and renewable chemicals.

Midori has already been issued two foundational US patents on its catalyst technology and has more than 10 additional families of patents pending worldwide. The company will begin constructing a commercial demonstration facility next year.

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