SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., March 30, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Intrexon Corporation (NYSE: XON), a leader in synthetic biology, today announced the pilot plant for its proprietary gas-to-liquids bioconversion platform is operational. The plant, which is located in South San Francisco, is dedicated to the production of isobutanol, a drop-in fuel with numerous advantages over other clean burning gasoline blendstocks.
"Reaching operational status with our pilot plant is one of several important milestones we expect to reach this year as we continue to move closer to commercialization of our ground-breaking bioconversion platform for the production of isobutanol," said Robert F. Walsh, Senior Vice President, Head of Intrexon's Energy Sector and Industrial Products Division. "Data from the pilot plant will be utilized to further refine our commercial scale facility design."
Intrexon's methanotroph bioconversion platform is designed to generate high-value products from natural gas, the most inexpensive carbon source that can be used for industrial fermentation today. The Company's initial target is isobutanol, a gasoline blendstock with several advantages over other biofuels including cleaner burning combustion, less corrosion, more energy content, and compatibility with existing pipelines.
Over the past two years, the Company has continuously improved the output of isobutanol from its engineered microbes including a greater than fifty percent increase since the Company's Investor Day in November 2015. This significant progress moves the Company closer toward achieving the yield necessary to begin site-selection for its first commercial plant, which is expected to occur in 2016. Intrexon Energy Partners remains on-target for the potential commercialization of this valuable biofuel in 2018.
Through its superior yield potential versus other microbes and utilization of low-cost natural gas feedstock, Intrexon's cost-effective, single-step fermentation process has the potential to drive industry-leading margins for the fuels and chemicals it produces. In addition to isobutanol, Intrexon has identified a number of valuable products that can be generated from methane using this approach.
During the fourth quarter of 2015, Intrexon Energy Partners II, a joint venture with a select group of external investors, was formed to employ the Company's platform to produce 1,4-butanediol (BDO), a key chemical intermediate used to manufacture spandex, polyurethane, plastics, as well as polyester. Production of BDO within methanotrophs follows similar metabolic pathways to isobutanol enabling translation of the Company's unique know-how and genetic technologies to achieve commercial-scale production of this valuable chemical.
About Intrexon Corporation
Intrexon Corporation (NYSE: XON) is Powering the Bioindustrial Revolution with Better DNA™ to create biologically-based products that improve the quality of life and the health of the planet. The Company's integrated technology suite provides its partners across diverse markets with industrial-scale design and development of complex biological systems delivering unprecedented control, quality, function, and performance of living cells. We call our synthetic biology approach Better DNA®, and we invite you to discover more at www.dna.com.
Intrexon, Powering the Bioindustrial Revolution with Better DNA, and Better DNA are trademarks of Intrexon and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.
Safe Harbor Statement
Some of the statements made in this press release are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based upon our current expectations and projections about future events and generally relate to our plans, objectives and expectations for the development of our business. Although management believes that the plans and objectives reflected in or suggested by these forward-looking statements are reasonable, all forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties and actual future results may be materially different from the plans, objectives and expectations expressed in this press release.
For more information regarding Intrexon Corporation, contact:
Vice President, Investor Relations
Tel: +1 (561) 410-7052
Marie Rossi, Ph.D.
Senior Manager, Technical Communications
Tel: +1 (301) 556-9850
SOURCE Intrexon Corporation