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SUEZ Environnement and Déinove partner on R&D to convert urban waste to ethanol with Deinococcus bacteria

SUEZ Environnement and Déinove (earlier post) are collaborating on an R&D program to explore the development of a process to convert organic urban waste into ethanol using Deinococcus bacteria. The two companies have signed a two-year agreement.

This organic waste is currently mainly recovered via composting and methanization. The widespread availability of this source of carbon, its cost, and its composition, which is conducive to the growth of micro-organisms, make it a realistic candidate for an innovative recovery process that involves the production of molecules with an industrial application, including for the commodities market, according to the partners.

For the past six months, Déinove has already been collaborating with SUEZ Environnement, which is making various sources of waste from its operating units available to the company. The results of this upstream research stage have confirmed that the substrates provided can be turned into useful molecules, in this instance ethanol, by Deinococcus bacteria.

The first stage of the two-year program will focus on optimizing the main development stages for the process, including:

  • Choosing the substrates provided by SUEZ and the pre-treatment conditions;

  • Choosing a Deinococcus strain that is appropriate for these substrates;

  • Defining the fermentation production conditions that will enable a satisfactory ethanol production rate to be achieved in 20-liter fermenters.

The long-term aim is the introduction of a pre-industrial size demonstration unit at a SUEZ Environnement facility.

Separately, Déinove signed a collaboration agreement with Abengoa, one of the world’s leading bioethanol producers, with the support of Bpifrance. The three-year agreement focuses on the development of Déinove’s consolidated bioprocess (CBP) using Deinococcus bacterium to digest and convert agricultural residues to ethanol at a competitive cost.


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