Watch out Solazyme, this Spain-based company could be a future competitor if it can achieve a cost-effective commercial production of oils from waste-based sugar.
Neol Biosolutions, a 50:50 joint venture between Repsol and Neuron Bio, has reached an agreement with the Center for Second Generation Biofuels (CB2G) of CENER, the Spanish National Renewable Energy Centre in order to carry out the scale-up testing of its second technological platform Microbioil®-2.0.
The technology Microbioil®-2.0 is able to produce large quantities of oil from different types of agricultural waste of different origins, such as wheat straw or sugar cane bagasse using its microorganism Neoleum®, which has been discovered and developed by Neol. The obtained oils can be used as raw material for the production of advanced biodiesel or other oleochemicals derivatives.
Neoleum™ reportedly presents a significant advantage as it is said to be extremely productive; with a one cubic meter bioreactor it cam obtain the same oil as in one hectare of oil palm. Neol has already validated on a pre-industrial scale the bioconversion process of Neoleum™.
The Centre for Industrial Technological Development (CDTI), which is an entity answering to the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, has recently approved the funding of the project within part of its funding policies for market applications on R&D projects of Spanish companies.
Neol has also been working on the development of PHA bioplastic.