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Amyris enhances strategic partnership with Total for renewable diesel and jet fuels; to form JV

Amyris, Inc. signed an amendment to its existing technology collaboration agreement with Total. (Earlier post.) Under the enhanced collaboration, Total reaffirms its commitment to Amyris’ technology and dedicates its $82-million funding budget over the next three years exclusively for the deployment of Biofene, Amyris’ renewable farnesene, for production of renewable diesel and jet fuel.

Farnesene is a 15-carbon isoprenoid hydrocarbon molecule that forms the basis for a wide range of products varying from specialty chemical applications to transportation fuels. Upon completion of the research and development program, Total and Amyris intend to form a joint venture company that would have exclusive rights to produce and market renewable diesel and/or jet fuel, as well as non-exclusive rights to other specialty products.

Under the latest announcement, Total agreed to fund $30 million during the third quarter of 2012. Additional funding will be triggered by Total at annual decision points in mid 2013 and 2014.

We reaffirm our strategic relationship with Total to achieve our joint development and commercialization objectives for renewable diesel and jet fuel. We are appreciative of Total’s ongoing support of Amyris. In addition to Amyris’ continued development of jet and diesel businesses in Brazil independently, this enhanced collaboration provides a global platform for the future growth in fuels under a future joint venture with Total.

—John Melo, President & CEO of Amyris

Amyris has developed advanced microbial engineering and screening technologies that modify the way microorganisms process sugars. Amyris is using this industrial synthetic biology platform to design microbes, primarily yeast, and use them as living factories in established fermentation processes to convert plant-sourced sugars into renewable chemical and transportation fuel products.

Amyris operates laboratories and a pilot plant in California as well as a pilot plant and demonstration facility in Brazil. Amyris has been scaling its Biofene production through various production arrangements and expects to operate its first dedicated commercial scale facility in Brazil by early 2013.

This technology will help make it possible for producers to blend renewable hydrocarbons produced from sustainable biomass and organic waste into fuel in proportions that significantly exceed the current 7% set by European Union regulations or other government policies.


Henry Gibson

It is clear that a food, sugar, is being used to have airlines and airline travelers ease their conscience about a large expenditure of fossil fuel by allowing a large expenditure of food to be used instead of oil that has been unused for millions of years. Forget starving people of food and only travel 9 tenths of the miles. At least 30 percent of the fuel used on roads could be saved with the use of hydraulic hybrids as shown by the UK firm Artemis with the help of the Carbon Trust. Convert coal not food into fuel; the North Sea has some places to pump all of the CO2 produced in the process into wells to extract more oil and leave the CO2. See Dakota Gasification. ..HG..

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