Press Release Headlines

Microvi Awarded USDA Grant for Breakthrough Butanol Production Technology

HAYWARD, Calif., Aug. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded Microvi Biotechnologies a grant to develop its breakthrough technology that dramatically improves the yield and performance of biobutanol processes. The technology overcomes the toxic and inhibitory effects on butanol producing microorganisms, a major bottleneck in scaling existing biobutanol processes.

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Microvi's butanol technology is based on the company's MicroNiche Engineering™, a process which enhances microbial physiology and optimizes enzymatic performance.

"A diversified energy future based on biobutanol and other low-cost biofuels requires new technologies for maximizing feedstock conversion efficiency and reducing operating costs," said Ameen Razavi, Director of Innovation Research. "Through this effort, we open a new paradigm for managing toxic stresses for biobutanol production leading to economical production."

As a fuel or gasoline additive, biobutanol has many advantages over ethanol, including drop-in capability, higher energy content and better transport and handling properties.  In addition, butanol can also be used as a building block for chemicals and polymers.

Based on preliminary investigation Microvi's technology has shown that it substantially increases the titer concentration of butanol over its solubility limit leading to effective biobutanol production. Microvi's technology is also expected to provide economic advantages such as reduced water usage, waste production and energy use.  Biobutanol processes using Microvi's technology would benefit from reduced capital and operating costs. The technology will be retrofitable in existing bioethanol processes and work with any microorganism including genetically modified organisms.

Microvi's biobutanol technology can help achieve energy independence, diversify uses of agricultural and rural resources and reduce negative economic and environmental impacts associated with dependence on petroleum.

About USDA

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) works to support the American agricultural economy to strengthen rural communities; to protect and conserve our natural resources; and to provide a safe, sufficient, and nutritious food supply for the American people.

About Microvi

Microvi is a leading biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures, and commercializes innovative biocatalytic technologies in water, energy and chemical industries. Microvi's pipeline of solutions, created using its proprietary MicroNiche Engineering™ platform, enable cost-effective economics, are energy efficient and waste free and deliver higher performance than conventional methods. To learn more please visit

Media Contact:

Karin Kidder, Director of Marketing, Microvi Biotechnologies