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LS9 starts up Florida demonstration facility; 135,000 liter scale

LS9, a synthetic biology company producing renewable fuels and chemicals directly by microbes (earlier post), announced the successful start-up of its Florida operations with an initial production run of fatty alcohols. LS9 completed the retrofit of the demonstration facility in Okeechobee, Fla. in May of this year. (Earlier post.)

Initially, the Florida facility will be used to enhance LS9’s production capability and generate large commercial samples for testing and product qualification by key partners and prospective customers. This first production run produced several tons of fatty alcohol with excellent replication of technical metrics seen at pilot scale, according to the company.

Fatty alcohols, which are long carbon chain alcohols, are used widely in the $5-billion market for surfactants, including industrial and consumer detergents. The facility will also be used to test and optimize new process conditions.

We are very pleased that our very first run at 135,000 liter [36,000 gallons US] scale went so well. We plan to perform additional fatty alcohol runs to demonstrate the robustness of our technology platform and then switch to diesel fuel and ester chemical production to further demonstrate the production optionality of the technology

—Ed Dineen, President and CEO of LS9



Do initial economics come to under $4/gal gas?

Devin Elliot

it doesn't have to be under 4 a gallon because surfactants are worth a lot more than fuel, which is why its a joke to think they will switch to diesel fuel. What business in the history of businesses has chosen to step selling a higher value product in favor of a low value product and the same scale?

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