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LS9 has developed an industrial biotechnology platform for the cost competitive production of sustainable products for the fuel and chemical industries. The heart of LS9 technology lies in its biological catalysts, which have been engineered to selectively convert abundant renewable feedstocks directly to drop-in and differentiated products through simple scalable processes. To create these catalysts, LS9 applies synthetic biology to combine the highly efficient metabolism of microorganisms with new biocatalytic capabilities engineered into each cell. The resulting catalysts selectively and efficiently convert a diversity of feedstocks to a final product in a single-step fermentation process. The product is secreted from the cell where it conveniently forms a non-toxic, light organic phase that is easily recoverable. These simple, efficient conversion processes are what distinguish LS9’s industrial biotechnology platform and enable multiple products to be produced from the same simple unit operations in cost-competitive processes.
Learn more about: Biocatalysis, LS9 One-Step Processes, Tailored Product Design, Synthetic Biology, and Feedstock Flexibility.
A Billion Years of Experience:
Naturally Selective, Commercially Efficient
LS9 has harnessed the powerful catalytic capabilities of microbial metabolism. For over a billion years microbes have inhabited Earth, refining their ability to efficiently access and manage scarce chemical and physical resources (the same challenge faced by today’s fuel and chemical industries). Today microorganisms are the fastest growing organisms in the world, catalyzing thousands of chemical processes, selectively, simultaneously, and under perfect regulation to convert simple renewable raw material sources into the diverse chemicals, materials, and energy that support life . It is the vast experience of these very small but very effective microengineers that LS9 has employed in the development of its sustainable fuel and chemical technology.
Chemical transformations in a cell are catalyzed by enzymes. These are the most efficient and selective catalysts known and are encoded by unique sequences of DNA. A “metabolic pathway” is composed of a set of these enzymes working together to sequentially convert one compound in the cell, through a series of selective chemical transformations, to a different compound. Many metabolic pathways, naturally perform at rates far exceeding those of commercial processes. Others can be engineered to achieve these rates by manipulating the DNA that encode and regulate them. LS9 has identified the most efficient metabolic pathway for the synthesis of hydrocarbon chains – fatty acid biosynthesis – and has combined that with new engineered biochemical pathways that efficiently convert those hydrocarbon molecules to high performance chemicals and advanced biofuels. By engineering all of the catalytic steps into a single microbial catalyst, LS9 enables simple, selective conversion processes to targeted products.
Figure 1. LS9 engineers cells to selectively produce desired compounds by designing and building novel biosynthetic pathways. Exploiting microbial fatty acid metabolism, LS9 has designed novel pathways to enable the industrial production of various fuels and chemicals, such as alkanes, fatty alcohols, and fatty acid methylesters.