Technological watch

Ingenza and Phibro Ethanol accelerate the green fuel transition

Ingenza and Phibro Ethanol – a division of Phibro Animal Health Corporation – have joined forces to engineer a novel yeast strain that will increase yield in the commercial production of bioethanol under both challenging and conventional environmental conditions, further driving the switch to clean biofuels. This latest innovation – arising from a productive and long-standing partnership between the two companies – will help to make this valuable natural resource more widely available for processing into sustainable fuels across a range of industries. 

In the US, bioethanol is produced by fermenting typically corn-based biomass with yeast. However, large volumes of enzymes, including glucoamylase (GA) must be added to render the glucose in this feedstock available to the yeast. In addition, the elevated temperatures generated in the production vessels can stress the yeast, resulting in reduced fermentation performance and, subsequently, lower ethanol yield. 

The successful partnership between Ingenza and Phibro sought to solve this issue, and led to the introduction of KinetX®  yeast solutions – a highly thermotolerant yeast strain that secretes GA throughout growth and fermentation stages – into the market. The novel strain was obtained using Ingenza’s proprietary strain construction and adaptive laboratory evolution (ALE) platforms. It offers superior robustness and reliability at higher temperatures while greatly reducing GA addition in comparison to traditional yeasts, bringing significant financial benefits to bioethanol producers. Additional next generation yeast lines in the KinetX portfolio will shortly debut on the international market alongside other programmes incorporating other novel technologies to deliver even higher bioethanol yields. 

Dr Leonardo Magneschi, Head of Molecular Biology at Ingenza, said: “Increasing the efficiency of bioethanol production is crucial to boost the commercial viability of biofuels as green alternatives to the fossil fuels we currently rely on. We are strongly committed to Phibro’s goals, and we are confident our ongoing collaboration will play a leading role in reducing the carbon footprint of the transportation sector, helping to achieve global sustainability targets.”

Dr Stephanie Gleason, Director of Technology at Phibro, said: “Ingenza’ s expertise in custom-built strain development, ALE, high throughput screening and technology transfer has been key to the successful implementation and scale-up of our industry-leading products. We look forward to working with Ingenza in the future to implement additional innovations that will further support the worldwide transition to environmentally friendly, bio-based fuels.”

© PLPAbout IngenzaIngenza engineers biological systems to make everything from therapeutics to enzymes and consumer products, addressing challenges in human health and the global environment. Ingenza’s understanding of nature, combined with its engineering biology toolbox, allows the company to accelerate customer journeys through key milestones to commercial success, establishing the company as a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) and pipeline accelerator. Its scientific and commercial activities are led by a management team with over 60 years’ experience in applied bioscience and the development and commercialisation of bio-based products. In addition to engaging in strategic partnerships to tailor its bioprocess services for clients, the company also licenses its proprietary bioprocess technologies.

About Phibro EthanolPhibro Ethanol, a division of Phibro Animal Health Corporation, is a leading global provider of antimicrobials, yeast, process cleaning, corn oil recovery and enzyme products which enable ethanol customers to produce clean, high-quality low carbon biofuels and livestock feed ingredients. We strive to be a trusted partner delivering a comprehensive portfolio of complete solutions to help optimize ethanol plant operations worldwide.

About Phibro Animal Health CorporationPhibro Animal Health Corporation is a leading global diversified animal health and mineral nutrition company. We strive to be a trusted partner with livestock producers, farmers, veterinarians, and consume or s who raise or care for farm and companion animals by providing solutions to help them maintain and enhance the health of their animals. 

Publication date: 27/10/2023

Author: Marion Kupfer

Bio-based News


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870292.