Thursday, April 24, 2008

Amyris unveils bio-diesel fuel deal, joins forces with Brazilian company

An Emeryville biotech company that gained fame creating a less-costly anti-malaria drug has turned to its next challenge: making clean fuel for the world's cars, trucks, jets and generators.

Today, Amyris said it has signed a deal with a large Brazilian ethanol maker to create renewable diesel using its synthetic biology technology.

The feedstock will be Brazil's plentiful sugarcane, already being used to make ethanol in that country. Santelisa Vale, the nation's second-largest ethanol and sugar producer, will devote 2 million tons of crushing capacity to the project.

A joint venture between Amyris and Crystalsev, majority-owned by Santelisa, will make the fuel. A pilot plant is expected to go into operation in early 2009 and commercial production could commence in 2010, according to Amyris.

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