Novel Yeast Cell Factory and Hybrid Process for Producing Biodegradable plastics.
This technology produces biopolymers to replace petroleum-based product to reduce plastic pollution.
Our initial focus in biodegradable film for packaging applications. Although highly desirable and presenting a high market potential, production of biodegradable bioplastics is currently limited due to the high-cost of starch as feedstock relative to the low-cost of fossil-based feedstock. ILB’s technology makes it possible to overcome this barrier by replacing starch with organic wastes as the feedstock, thus significantly reducing the production cost while offering an alternative for more sustainable disposing of organic wastes.
Although bacterial biopolymer poly(3-hydroxybutyrate), or PHB has been discovered for over 100 years, high production cost and low performance limit the commercialization
Engineered Yeast Cell Factory
Our solution: converting low-cost feedstock such as organic waste such as food waste to biopolymers with high carbon efficiency with an integrated process involving a highly efficient engineered yeast cell factory
Further diversifying the molecule structures of polymers to improve the performance via process fine-tuning and pathway engineering, and using resultant biopolymers to produce multi-layer products with desirable properties.
Metabolic Engineering for Producing Biochemicals
ILB is also developing a technology for producing biobased glycolic acid.
Glycolic acid (HOCH2COOH), also known as hydroxyacetic acid and ethanoic acid, is one of the smallest organic molecules with both acid and alcohol functionality. Its unique set of properties make it ideal for a broad range of applications. As a biodegradable, non-toxic, non-volatile, and phosphate-free chemical, glycolic acid can be used as an efficient cleaning agent with many added benefits such as negligible odor, high solubility in water, and easy rinse. Glycolic acid can also be used as a building block for production of many other chemicals, such as biopolymers poly(glycolic acid) (PGA) and poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) either by chemical synthesis or biosynthesis. Moreover, glycolic acid is increasingly being used in anti-ageing products and cosmetics developed specially for sensitive skin.
Reducing Toxic Materials
Glycolate is mainly produced by chemical processes constrained with a number of major disadvantages, such as use of toxic materials, generation of undesirable by-product, and operation under harsh conditions.
Patent Has Been Filed
Design of a novel pathway in a non-conventional yeast, Yarrowia lipolytica as a desirable host that is tolerant to low pH and has high productivity of organic acids.
Patent has been filed.
Synthetic Biology of Nutraceutical and Natural products
ILB is also developing technology for producing ingredients for nutraceuticals and other natural products.
The target product for nutraceuticals is carotenoids such as astaxanthin. Natural astaxanthin, the most powerful antioxidant found in nature, can reduce the damage of oxidative stress caused by human metabolism, improve immunity and protect the human body from external environment such as bacteria, viruses, physical and psychological stress. A large number of research data has proved that natural astaxanthin has significant beneficial effects in improving human immunity, anti-aging, enhancing athletic ability, protecting retina, anti-inflammation, preventing cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases and diabetes, etc.
Another natural product that we have started to develop is sweetener (Xiaochao, please add some text here), especially triterpenoid glycoside. These natural products with sweetness have low calories and many other healthy benefits such as anti-oxidation, anti-virus, and anti-inflammatory properties.
In the past, production of these products has relied on the plant extraction, which is neither cheap nor sustainable. Furthermore, unwanted products are present in matrix materials generated by plant extraction. It is also hard to get the products with a complex structure through chemical synthesis, and there is no established de novo microbial production.
Our solution: Harness fermentation to produce natural products by engineering of a non-conventional yeast with multiple advantages.
Key Metrics: Efficient microbial production measured with product cost, purity, function, and environmental impact.