Salt Lake City, UT, United States
Salt Lake City, UT, United States

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Patent
Rice University and Technology Holding, LLC | Date: 2015-10-22

The disclosure relates to biological methods of making a hydrocarbon feedstock wherein one-carbon substrates are converted into useful chemicals and fuels. Particularly, genetically engineered bacteria are used to make C4-C10 fatty acids or derivatives from one-carbon substrates such as methanol and carbon dioxide.


Grant
Agency: National Science Foundation | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 224.85K | Year: 2014

The broader impact/commercialization potential of this Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I project is to produce an important platform chemical, hexanoic acid. Currently, the 6-carbon compounds are difficult to attain since crude petroleum contains just a small fraction in this carbon range as part of light naphtha. Most of the 6-carbon compounds are produced via multiple steps that constitute conversion of olefins derived from light naphtha. The various 6-carbon compounds include hexanol, hexene, caprolactam and hexa-easters. All of these compounds are direct derivatives of hexanoic acid. The proposed technology will manufacture hexanoic acid using a novel bioprocess, which will provide an alternative source for this chemical at a reduced cost. Current direct market uses of hexanoic acid include artificial flavors, rubber chemicals, varnish driers, resins and pharmaceuticals. It can be converted to hexene, caprolactam (nylon feedstock). These value addedá-olefins, polymers and premium lubricant industry feedstocks, become excellent candidates for early commercialization. In addition, hexanoic acid can be converted to decane, a jet fuel component via decarboxylation and radical coupling chemistry. Thus, longer-term prospects exist for using the proposed innovation to penetrate a>$300 Billion jet fuel market. This STTR Phase I project proposes to develop a novel microbial strain to convert methanol to hexanoic acid. The primary objective of this project is to demonstrate techno-economic feasibility of methanol conversion to hexanoic acid. The overall estimated carbon yield and energy efficiency are significantly higher compared to state of the art. The biological pathway consists of two elements added to an acetogenic host: (1) Addition of methanol oxidation reactions to provide reductant; and (2) Extension of the chain length of the acid formed. Methanol oxidation will use well-known pathways from known organisms and reactions capable of operation without oxygen in the utilization of methanol and H2/CO2. The chain length will be extended by using the basic pathway of Clostridium and known enzymes to form hexanoic acid. At the end of the project, a novel strain will be developed that can convert methanol to hexanoic acid in a single step. A preliminary assessment of the overall process will be performed and compared to the current commercial manufacturing process.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2015

ABSTRACT: Elimination of the cold chain is of vital importance for the ability to treat injured warfighters in the field and behind enemy lines. The application of an already FDA approved reagent for the stabilization of labile reagents will allow for minimal development time delaying the fielding of a new technology to fill this role. Collagen has been used extensively since the 1980s as an approved injectable by the FDA. Further, collagen is classified as being generally recognized as safe (GRAS) allowing for the development of both oral and injectable formulations. This reagent belongs to the protein polymer class which has already shown promise in the proposed application. Further development of collagen to fill this role is warranted.; BENEFIT: Elimination of the cold chain through reagent stabilization with collagen will have benefits not only for DoD application but also in the civilian market. By removing the necessity for refrigeration vaccines and temperature sensitive drugs can be transported and stored more easily. This will reduce the cost of medical care and increase the penetration of vaccines and medicines beyond stable power grids currently necessary to ensure activity of the vaccines and drugs. This has the potential to not only aid the third world, but prevent vaccine spoilage which occurs frequently in the first world leading to destruction of up to half of the world supply of vaccines. This waste leads to increased costs and shortages which can be prevented.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: STTR PHASE I | Award Amount: 224.85K | Year: 2014

The broader impact/commercialization potential of this Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I project is to produce an important platform chemical, hexanoic acid. Currently, the 6-carbon compounds are difficult to attain since crude petroleum contains just a small fraction in this carbon range as part of light naphtha. Most of the 6-carbon compounds are produced via multiple steps that constitute conversion of olefins derived from light naphtha. The various 6-carbon compounds include hexanol, hexene, caprolactam and hexa-easters. All of these compounds are direct derivatives of hexanoic acid. The proposed technology will manufacture hexanoic acid using a novel bioprocess, which will provide an alternative source for this chemical at a reduced cost. Current direct market uses of hexanoic acid include artificial flavors, rubber chemicals, varnish driers, resins and pharmaceuticals. It can be converted to hexene, caprolactam (nylon feedstock). These value added á-olefins, polymers and premium lubricant industry feedstocks, become excellent candidates for early commercialization. In addition, hexanoic acid can be converted to decane, a jet fuel component via decarboxylation and radical coupling chemistry. Thus, longer-term prospects exist for using the proposed innovation to penetrate a >$300 Billion jet fuel market.

This STTR Phase I project proposes to develop a novel microbial strain to convert methanol to hexanoic acid. The primary objective of this project is to demonstrate techno-economic feasibility of methanol conversion to hexanoic acid. The overall estimated carbon yield and energy efficiency are significantly higher compared to state of the art. The biological pathway consists of two elements added to an acetogenic host: (1) Addition of methanol oxidation reactions to provide reductant; and (2) Extension of the chain length of the acid formed. Methanol oxidation will use well-known pathways from known organisms and reactions capable of operation without oxygen in the utilization of methanol and H2/CO2. The chain length will be extended by using the basic pathway of Clostridium and known enzymes to form hexanoic acid. At the end of the project, a novel strain will be developed that can convert methanol to hexanoic acid in a single step. A preliminary assessment of the overall process will be performed and compared to the current commercial manufacturing process.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 749.74K | Year: 2013

The United States is currently faced with unprecedented energy challenge. Petroleum prices have skyrocketed due to rising competition for energy resources from emerging economies. There is a significant need for processes that can produce hydrocarbons from renewable resources rather than petroleum. The use of renewable resources ensures a long-term supply of hydrocarbons, even after easily extractable petroleum reserves are depleted. It also aids national security because domestic resources are used rather than petroleum. Biomass offers the potential for large-scale production of hydrocarbons while reducing greenhouse gases impact. Technology Holding LLC in collaboration with Kansas State University proposes a novel process for biomass conversion to butylenes. Such olefins can be further converted to jet fuel by catalytic oligomerization. The proposed process combines two synergistic innovations of biochemical processing and further catalytic conversion. A robust culture is used to ferment biomass into 2,3-Butanediol followed by efficient catalytic conversion to butylenes. These butylenes will be further converted to oligomerized hydrocarbons to test the suitability of these hydrocarbons as jet fuel (JP5).


Patent
Technology Holding, LLC | Date: 2015-11-17

An annular isolation device for managed pressure drilling includes a first housing portion coupled to a second housing portion; a packing element at least partially disposed in the first housing portion; a penetrator coupled to the first housing portion; and a carrier coupled to the second housing portion, wherein the carrier is configured to receive a portion of the penetrator.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 224.97K | Year: 2015

As the world population increases and global GDP rises, the demand for energy is projected to increase dramatically. Fossil fuels are currently a leading energy source, approximately 50% of which is imported from foreign sources. A domestically produced, renewable energy source is needed to ensure the energy security of the United States. One source of domestic potential energy currently under-utilized is agricultural and forestry biomass which can top 1.3 billion tons annually. Conversion of this biomass to useable fuel sources can be accomplished via microorganisms which have been engineered to produce energy dense combustible molecules. Technology Holding LLC in collaboration with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory proposes to further develop an industrial bacterial strain which can metabolize hydrolysate from woody biomass to produce 5-Carbon Alcohols. These alcohols can be used as green bulk chemicals for the manufacture of various consumer products and as drop in fuel additive or replacement.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.97K | Year: 2014

The majority of the US petrochemicals industry is dependent upon petroleum crude or natural gas as raw materials. The excessive dependence on foreign energy resources poses a threat to the energy security of the nation. Materials produced from fossil sources also have a negative impact on the environment. Nylon (Nylon 6 and Nylon 6,6) is a major product of the petrochemical industry. The total Nylon demand in 2010 was 6.5 MMTPA growing at 4-6% in the past four years. It is imperative to develop alternative options for textile materials, automotive and other industrial uses that are currently being catered by nylon. Such new fibers can be renewable, offer better properties and be able be produced domestically at industrial scales. Spider silk (dragline silk) offers an excellent opportunity for domestic manufacturing. A novel process to produce spider silk proteins using metabolically engineered E. coli and fiber spinning from aqueous solution is proposed. The primary objective of the proposed innovation is to demonstrate techno-economic feasibility of producing spider silk fibers.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 563.15K | Year: 2015

Spider silk is one of the strongest yet still elastic natural materials to be formed into fibers. The ability to utilize these proteins in next generation clothing and cordage represents a leap forward in textile technology. Unfortunately the farming of spiders necessary to generate natural fibers is difficult and costly. As a result the expression of the proteins from other hosts is warranted. This proposal aims to increase the concentration and purity of spider silk proteins able to be isolated from a scale-able host, E. coli. This will allow for the production of a renewable fiber resource rivaling and exceeding the current crop of chemically synthesized textile polymers.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 1.50M | Year: 2016

As the world population increases and global GDP rises, the demand for energy is projected to increase dramatically. Fossil fuels are currently a leading energy source, approximately 50% of which is imported from foreign sources. A domestically produced, renewable energy source is needed to ensure the energy security of the United States. One source of domestic potential energy currently under-utilized is agricultural and forestry biomass which can top 1.3 billion tons annually. Conversion of this biomass to useable fuel sources can be accomplished via microorganisms which have been engineered to produce energy dense combustible molecules. Technology Holding LLC in collaboration with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory proposes to further develop an industrial bacterial strain which can metabolize hydrolysate from woody biomass to produce 5-Carbon Alcohols. These alcohols can be used as green bulk chemicals for the manufacture of various consumer products and as drop in fuel additive or replacement.

Loading Technology Holding, LLC collaborators
Loading Technology Holding, LLC collaborators