Glycos scales up sustainable lactic acid production

By Nick Taylor

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Bacteria

Glycos Biotechnologies has produced lactic acid in a pilot plant using its sustainable technique, successfully scaling up from a laboratory setting to provide an alternate source for the chiral synthon.

Production in a plant capable of outputting 150,000 litres of chemicals represents a validation of GlycosBio’s technology and a step towards its goal of globally commercialising the sustainable technology.

GlycosBio uses non-pathogenic microorganisms, which it claims have been used safely for years in pharmaceutical manufacture, to produce lactic acid from multiple non-sugar feedstock sources.

Paul Campbell, chief scientific officer at GlycosBio, explained: "Through the creation of biologically 'balanced' pathways inside the microbe we have been able to uniquely develop microorganisms that naturally produce the desired end-products​."

The microorganisms are engineered to digest a certain feedstock and produce a particular chemical, such as lactic acid. Microorganisms are then grown in a bioreactor and they process the feedstock, such as crude glycerine, to produce a chemical that can then be isolated.

Separation and isolation of the desired chemical is performed using traditional equipment, making it east to incorporate into existing infrastructure, according to GlycosBio.

Benefits and uses

Ending the reliance on sugar eliminates the risks associated with using a single source and provides chemical manufacturers with product flexibility, according to GlycosBio.

In addition to chiral synthesis lactic acid can also be used in the creation of lactate copolymer microspheres which are suitable for sustained-release drug delivery. GlycosBio’s technique can also be used to produce advanced ethanol and other speciality chemicals.

Now that the technique has been validated in a pilot plant GlycosBio is focusing on “securing additional commercialisation partnerships around the world​”, according to Rich Cilento, CEO of GlycosBio.

Related topics Bio Developments

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