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Lesaffre acquires Butalco for yeast for second-generation biofuels

France-based yeast company Lesaffre has acquired Butalco, a start-up founded in 2007 by Professor Eckhard Boles and Gunter Festerl as a spin-off of Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main. Butalco is a research company focused on the development of yeast strains for second-generation biofuels and bio-based chemicals. (Earlier post.)

Lesaffre recently launched a new business unit—Leaf Technologies (Lesaffre Fermentation Technologies)—dedicated to the development and sales of value-added fermentation solutions to the bioethanol and bio-based chemicals industries.

Leaf Technologies’ mission is to reinforce Lesaffre’s current position on the first generation fuel ethanol market and continue innovating in the field of lignocellulosic ethanol. Leaf Technologies is also to develop advanced solutions for bio-based chemicals producers.

Currently, Leaf Technologies offers CelluX, an engineered strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae featuring strong inhibitors tolerance that has been developed for the second generation ethanol industry. This yeast strain demonstrates the ability to resist stresses and maintains higher cell viability during fermentations of hydrolyzed cellulosic material, the company says.

In addition to its many yeast products for baking; brewing, spirits and winemaking; and taste and nutrition, Lesaffre currently offers “Ethanol Red”, a top yeast in North America for the production of fuel alcohol. Ethanol Red dry yeast is designed for producing alcohol at high temperatures, though it is capable of maximizing alcohol yields under a wide range of temperatures.


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