SilicoLife was awarded with a SME instrument phase 1 grant for the commercial evaluation of its BUTANOVA technology, a new biological process to produce n-butanol (patent pending). The SME instrument is a highly competitive grant scheme promoted by the European Commission.
Butanol is a 4-carbon alcohol generally used as an industrial solvent with a growing market, valued over 5 Billion € annually, and with a high potential as a renewable fuel. It is commonly produced from fossil material through pollutant processes, and thus requiring more sustainable and greener production alternatives. Biobutanol is a second-generation fuel with a higher energy density and lower corrosiveness and volatility than ethanol.
BUTANOVA technology consists on a novel and proprietary metabolic pathway designed computationally by SilicoLife and implemented and experimentally validated in collaboration with University of Minho, in Portugal. This new pathway, resulting from Artificial Intelligence methodologies developed at the company, for the production of n-butanol starts from a non-previously reported precursor. Conversely to competing solutions, the use of this new precursor opens the door to a great variety of hosts and feedstocks.
“This feasibility grant for our butanol program is a recognition of our capability to design innovative processes for the biological and sustainable production of chemicals” said Simão Soares, SilicoLife CEO. “We hope to continue to expand this development model for different high added-value molecules and establish ourselves as a product-oriented company”.
The major objective of this new feasibly grant is the evaluation of the technology and of a market introduction strategy for this new cost-competitive alternative for the biological production of n-butanol.