A local biotechnology company transforms glycerin into biofuel

Instalaciones del Instituto de Agrobiotecnología Rosario (INDEAR)

Researchers at the National Council for Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET), Institute of Agrobiotechnology Rosario (INDEAR) and Bioceres developed a biotechnology platform that metabolic engineering methods, transform glycerol into biofuel.

The use of microorganisms for the production and presentation of different compounds through recombinant technology, aims to improve the properties of these microorganisms. Industrially genetically modified bacteria can revalue a product and ensure its productivity. In our country, this type of engineering has not yet reached a high development level and internationally, there are few companies that offer this type of application .

Under this scenario, the National Agency for Science and Technology through the Argentine Fund Sector (FONARSEC) Promotion, awarded $ 2,063,220 in funding for the development of a biotechnology platform to enable large-scale production of genetically modified bacteria prototype able to reassess as a byproduct glycerin transform renewable biofuel that can be blended in refinery plant .

Such biotechnological process is the incorporation of certain genes to a specific metabolic pathway of the bacterium chosen to optimize their development and improve their growing conditions and productivity. Each bacterium is analyzed and based on the discovered limitations, new genetic modifications are introduced in order to enhance their development. After reaching a commercially acceptable productivity scaling is performed at pre-industrial level, and simultaneously continuing the optimization process of the microorganisms .

According Diego de Mendoza, a researcher and director of IBR project, “one of the major successes of this project is that it allows us to use our own fundamental inspired to produce research concepts in bacteria soil, different types of molecules of commercial interest. Based on our deep understanding of the physiology of the organism that we use, we can rationally optimize the conversion of glycerin into the desired component.”

In this initiative , researchers from CONICET provide labor in INDEAR laboratories performing the testing and development of cells . Meanwhile , the company offers the experience and Bioceres business platform and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, through the Argentine Technology Fund (FONTAR) Agency funds testing and production.

This project aims to form a new company based on cutting edge technology in the country and promotes the development of sustainable technology platforms that allow products to replace fossil fuels by renewable equivalents and environmentally friendly nature that achieve competitive yields and production costs market .

* SOURCE: National Agency for Science and Technology .