University of Wisconsin researchers to produce alternative fuel and latex from pulp and paper mill waste streams

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University of Wisconsin researchers to produce alternative fuel and latex from pulp and paper mill waste streams

January 19, 2011 - 02:55

MADISON, WI, Jan. 19, 2011 (Business Wire) -Scarab Genomics, a leader in the development of productionE. colistrains based on reduced genome technology and the Wisconsin Institute for Sustainable Technology (WIST) at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, have entered into a research agreement to produce isoprene from paper and pulp mill waste streams. Isoprene can be used to manufacture aviation fuels or latex for use in rubber products.

WIST is using Scarab's engineered bacteria to implement its isoprene production technology to provide isoprene from renewable resources as opposed to fossil fuels. The process may also be extended to include other sources of cellulosic biomass in addition to paper and pulp waste. Production of this high-value chemical would diversify revenue opportunities for paper and pulp mills, create new jobs and reduce waste.

Under the terms of the agreement, Scarab Genomics will provide strains and plasmids specifically designed to optimize isoprene production using WIST's isoprene production technology. Preliminary testing has already demonstrated increased production of isoprene in the Scarab strains compared to common laboratory strains.

About Scarab Genomics

Scarab Genomics, a Madison-based biotechnology company, was established in 2002 to commercialize the Clean Genome® Multiple Deletion Series (MDS)E. colithat resulted from Dr. Fred Blattner's first sequencing ofE. coliat the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Scarab Genomics has licensed the patented reduced genome technology from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation on an exclusive, worldwide basis. Genome reduction provides enhanced genetic stability and improved product safety, making these strains ideal for the production of biotherapeutics such as plasmid-based RNAi, DNA vaccines, and recombinant protein-based therapeutics. Scarab is a privately owned company funded by product revenue and grants obtained through the SBIR program.

About the Wisconsin Institute for Sustainable Technology

The Wisconsin Institute for Sustainable Technology, a multi-disciplinary institute at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, was founded in 2009 to create a fresh approach to meet today's environmental and economic challenges. Through its three divisions, WIST offers laboratory services; outreach, education, and research to help businesses and organizations accomplish their goals in ways that make more sustainable use of natural resources.