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LS9 collaborating with MAN Latin America to test UltraClean renewable diesel in Brazil

LS9, Inc., a synthetic biology company producing renewable fuels and chemicals directly by microbes, has begun a collaboration with MAN Latin America, a leading Brazilian engineering and vehicles manufacturing company, to test LS9’s renewable diesel in both stationary engines and operational fleet vehicles in Brazil.

The project will include performance, emissions, fuel consumption and engine durability testing, as well as field testing of LS9’s biofuel in Volkswagen trucks and buses.

Through this alliance, we intend to further demonstrate the high quality of our drop-in biofuels for the Brazil market, and to move closer to the commercialization of LS9 UltraClean Diesel.

—Ed Dineen, CEO of LS9

LS9 UltraClean Diesel has been engineered to meet or exceed relevant diesel fuel standards while providing economic and environmental benefits relative to petroleum diesel. The company’s current fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) product has achieved the key parameters of B100 (100% biodiesel): ASTM 6751 (United States), EN 14214 (European Union), and ANP 7 (Brazil) standards.

LS9 UltraClean Diesel overcomes a number of the challenges of first-generation biodiesel, including high cost of production, poor oxidative stability, and/or poor cold flow. In April 2010, the fuel was officially registered with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) so it can be sold commercially in the United States.

LS9 modifies the ACP pathway in bacteria to produce renewable hydrocarbon fuels and chemicals with optimized properties, including UltraClean Diesel and surfactants, which LS9 is commercializing with one of its strategic partners, Procter and Gamble.

We want to offer more renewable and alternative fuels to our clients in Brazil and in other Latin American countries. These fuels do not contain benzene and have very low sulfur content—substances that are present in conventional diesel fuel. As society and governments seek to protect the environment, they increasingly prefer the use of renewable fuels in fleets for public transportation. That’s the reason we are broadening the range of possibilities with LS9 UltraClean Diesel.

—Roberto Cortes, president of MAN Latin America

Brazil recently has sanctioned new environmental policies and is gradually implementing new quality standards for fuels and engines to reduce emissions and improve air quality.

In 2010, LS9 won a 2010 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award for its “Renewable Petroleum” technology that converts sustainable, plant-based materials into low-carbon fuels and chemicals. (Earlier post.)

LS9 was founded in 2005 and is supported by funding from Flagship Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Chevron Technology Ventures, and BlackRock.

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