Industrial biofuels technology company Green Biologics (GBL) has opened a new laboratory at its headquarters at Milton Park, Oxfordshire and raised £1.58m in funding.
The investment, raised by existing shareholders and new investors, will be used to further the development of the company’s ‘next generation’ biofuels.
GBL is developing Butafuel, a liquid biofuel for transportation which the company claims is superior to and more sustainable than existing types. Butafuel is based on butanol produced by a naturally occurring microbe in a sugar fermentation process. The fermentation process also produces acetone, an important solvent and chemical precursor for polymers and plastics.
GBL is improving the bio-butanol fermentation process using microbiology, molecular biology and fermentation techniques, and has developed novel microbes and advanced high temperature fermentation processes.
It also targets waste feedstocks for fermentation from agricultural and industrial processes, such as paper and pulp, sugar processing, biodiesel production and food waste. This reduces the need for expensive waste treatment and diverts waste away from landfill. Using waste feedstocks for fermentation is considered more sustainable and environmentally friendly than use of food crops such as sugar beet, sugar cane, maize and wheat, which are used to make bio-ethanol. By optimising the fermentation process, and using cheaper waste feedstocks, GBL aims to achieve a two to three fold reduction in cost.
Green Biologics will use part of the new funding for a scaled-up, pilot demonstration of its proprietary fermentation process for bio-butanol on a range of model waste feedstocks in its extended laboratory facilities.