OPX Biotechnologies, Inc. and Evonik Industries AG have entered into an agreement jointly to develop certain bio-based specialty chemicals. The joint-development agreement calls for OPXBIO to use its proprietary EDGE (Efficiency Directed Genome Engineering) technology to develop the bio-processes.
According to the agreement, OPXBIO will also be able to market bio-based products resulting from the Evonik collaboration.
OPXBIO developed and piloted the microbe and bioprocess to produce its first renewable chemical product—BioAcrylic—in 18 months. OPXBIO is collaborating with The Dow Chemical Company, the largest US producer of petro-acrylic, to complete the development of the commercial-scale BioAcrylic process using renewable sugar feedstock and to secure downstream customer acceptance. OPXBIO is producing BioAcrylic at large, pre-commercial demonstration scale and anticipates entering the market with commercial product by 2016.
The company is also developing the lab-scale bioprocess for its second product: fatty acids. Its fatty acid process starts with sugar feedstock or with hydrogen and carbon dioxide generated from biomass, solid waste, industrial off-gas, or natural gas. Fatty acids can also be converted into renewable diesel and jet fuel. The renewable fuel potential for the fatty acid work has earned a $6-million award from the US Department of Energy (DOE) to support the research and development.