Genomatica to make a naturally sourced 1,3-butylene glycol for cosmetics


The GENO BG™ process, a new biobased process technology to make a naturally sourced 1,3-butylene glycol. This is the latest innovation launched by Genomatica, a widely-recognized leader in bioengineering headquartered in San Diego, California. The GENO BG process has already produced biobased butylene glycol for sampling and Genomatica has transferred the process to 85,000 liter production fermentors.

Butylene glycol, a four-carbon alcohol, is used globally in cosmetics to improve moisture retention and as a carrier for plant extracts. Conventional approaches to make butylene glycol start with fossil fuel-derived acetaldehyde, which is a toxin, an irritant, and a carcinogen. By contrast, Genomatica’s biobased butylene glycol is made via fermentation, starting from natural, sustainable, plant-based ingredients. This approach has the potential for high appeal in personal care products.

Additionally, Genomatica has leveraged the power and selectivity of biology to create a process that produces a distinctively pure product as compared to fossil fuel-derived, chemistry-based processes. Product purity and performance, plus a simpler process design that is readily deployed at large scale, also have the potential for additional market applications in everyday wellness products.

GENO BG’s innovation was met with immediate recognition by a panel of industry experts. ICIS, the world’s largest petrochemical market information provider, announced last August that Genomatica was named  as a finalist for the 2017 ICIS Innovation Awards. These awards recognize innovation in products and processes with better use of energy and raw materials, improved economics, safer performance, and lower environmental impact. Winners will be announced in October.

The GENO BG process, developed in stealth, has advanced even faster than Genomatica’s award-winning commercial GENO BDO™ process, which recently highlighted milestones for rapidly meeting plant performance guarantees and total worldwide production.

“The GENO BG process marks our entry into specialty chemicals, complementing our leadership in intermediates,” said Christophe Schilling, Genomatica’s CEO. “GENO BG is another example of how quickly we can commercialize our bioengineering innovations and enable products with better performance and greater sustainability.”



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