Proterro to commission renewable sugars pilot plant in Florida

September 29, 2013 |

In New Jersey, Proterro has scaled up its novel photobioreactor design and is in the process of commissioning a pilot plant in Florida.

“The modular photobioreactors, which are made from off-the-shelf materials,” said Proterro CEO Kef Kasdin, “including polyethylene, can withstand category 1 hurricane winds,” she explained, adding, “Because of the materials used and the innovative design, we also have been able to validate low fabrication costs.” Proterro has tapped top-ranking U.S. engineering, architectural and management services company Middough Inc. and also completed a preliminary design, layout and associated cost estimate for a demonstration-scale plant.

Using CO2, sunlight and water, Proterro lowers the cost of sugar production through a novel, scalable biosynthetic process that integrates its patented, highly productive microorganism with its unique, patent-pending photobioreactor. This process yields a fermentation-ready sucrose stream, rather than a mixture of sugars, allowing simple, low-cost downstream processing.

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