The US Patent and Trademark Office has issued US Patent No. 8,597,914 to the company for its technology that integrates transgenic sugar-producing microorganisms with a modular photobioreactor made from off-the-shelf materials. This process yields a fermentation-ready sucrose stream, rather than a mixture of sugars. Proterro says this simplifies downstream processes and reduces costs.
The photosynthetic microorganisms and their genetic code are already protected by US Patent No. 8,367,379, a composition of matter patent specifically covering “the sequence and assembly of discrete genes of engineered cyanobacteria and the cyanobacteria themselves.”
Proterro says its sugar-making process removes the price volatility that comes with crop-based feedstocks and eliminates the steps required to produce cellulosic sugars derived from biomass. The result is an economically stable, fermentation-ready sugar feedstock for the scalable production of a variety of commercial-scale biofuels and chemicals through standard industrial fermentation methods.
Earlier this month Concord Blue and LanzaTech entered into an agreement to integrate their technologies to produce fuels and chemicals from waste materials.