Codexis, Chemtex collaborate sustainable detergent alcohols

Codexis, Chemtex collaborate on sustainable detergent alcohols

2:41 PM, 2nd August 2011
Codexis, Chemtex collaborate on sustainable detergent alcohols

REDWOOD CITY, US/TORTONA, ITALY: Codexis Inc and Chemtex, wholly-owned by Italy’s Gruppo Mossi & Ghisolfi, formed a broad collaboration to develop and produce sustainable detergent alcohols for use in the household products market. The collaboration includes development of second generation detergent alcohols from cellulosic (non-food) biomass.

Detergent alcohols, a $6 billion worldwide market, are surfactants which stabilize mixtures of oil and water. They are widely used in laundry detergents, shampoos and other consumer products. Detergent alcohols today are made from non-sustainable palm kernel and petroleum sources.

As per the collaboration with Chemtex, Codexis will develop a process for the conversion of cellulosic biomass to sustainable detergent alcohols. The process will utilize Chemtex’s PROESA - Pretreatment and Viscosity Reduction Technology.

Cellulosic sugars will be converted to detergent alcohols using a proprietary fermentation process developed by Codexis. The parties expect that this process will initially be piloted at Chemtex’s R&D facility in Rivalta, Italy. Larger scale demonstrations are anticipated at Chemtex’s 40,000 metric tonne (88 million pound) per year cellulosic ethanol plant in Crescentino, Italy, that is expected to be operational in 2012.

Chemtex will provide engineering services for the design and construction of Codexis commercial facilities for the production of detergent alcohols. Codexis will market products resulting from the collaboration.

“With this collaboration, Codexis has a fully integrated production process for converting cellulosic biomass to marketable, sustainable detergent alcohols. By combining Codexis’ proven enzyme technology with Chemtex’s technology and engineering design expertise, we are making significant progress towards production of commercial products from renewable feedstocks,” said Alan Shaw, President and CEO, Codexis.

“PROESA is break-through technology that produces high quality cellulosic sugar from biomass. Coupling PROESA with the unique features of Codexis’ technology platform has the potential to make the production of detergent alcohols from biomass a reality,” said Guido Ghisolfi, President and CEO, Chemtex.

(C) WOC News

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