Amyris opens first commercial facility

April 29, 2011 |

In California, Amyris announced the completion of the first industrial-scale production facility, in Piracicaba, São Paulo, Brazil at a facility owned by Biomin do Brasil Nutriҫão Animal Ltda., a company focusing on animal nutrition. The production facility is located expects to begin Biofene production in May. Amyris feeds sugar cane syrup into three dedicated 200,000 liter fermentors containing Amyris proprietary yeast.

The yeast digest the syrup feedstock and produce farnesene, which is then separated and purified. Biofene may then be sold directly into industrial applications or put through simple chemical finishing steps to form a broad range of renewable products including squalane, base oil and finished lubricants and diesel.

Amyris previously had tested performance in its pilot plant in Emeryville, CA, and a second pilot plant and demonstration facility in Campinas, Brazil. Earlier this year, Amyris tested its yeast strains and process in several runs at 100,000 and 200,000 liter scale and generated results that were consistent with previous runs at smaller scale. Amyris is scaling its production through contract agreements with Antibioticós, Biomin, Paraíso Bioenergia, Tate & Lyle, and a joint venture with Usina São Martinho S.A., one of the largest sugar and ethanol producers in Brazil. Amyris has also established finishing capabilities with Glycotech.

Amyris reports first quarter earnings next Thursday after market close. The Digest will publish “Amyris: The Owner’s Manual,” including an exclusive interview with CEO John Melo, next week.

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