Production of renewable dicarboxylic acids and corresponding mono-methyl esters for
- Nylons and other polymers
- Constituents of cosmetics
- Acne medications
- Fuel additives and fuels
- Paints and varnishes
- Provides an environment for precise compound production control
- Enables production of diacids of varying chain lengths from renewable materials
Researchers at the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have developed a new method to synthesize dicarboxylic acids (DCAs) and mono-methyl ester derivatives of carboxylic acids (DCAMMEs) from glucose intermediates (renewable feedstocks). This method can be varied and controlled to suit the specific needs of industry. Using genetically modified E. coli microbes as biocatalysts for the production of DCAs allows for a large-scale, pharmaceutical approach to the synthesis of these compounds.
In the new JBEI technology, a gene coding for an enzyme that catalyzes methyl transfer, such as BioC, is overexpressed. The cell is then modified to overexpress TesA, which releases bound DCAs once they have been created within the E. coli microbe. These fatty acid derivatives can then go on to be used in a wide variety of chemical processes and products.
DCAs and DCAMMEs are used in a variety of industries and are ingredients in common products such as nylon, cosmetics, paints, and fuel additives, among many others. Unlike commonly used production methods such as oxidation of cyclohexanone, oleic acid or other unsaturated fatty acids in which the chain length is dependent on the structure of the precursor prior to oxidation, the JBEI technology enables production of DCAs and DCAMMEs with a variety of chain lengths from renewable sources.
STATUS: Patent pending. Available for license or collaborative research.
DEVELOPMENT STAGE: Proven principle.