In a bid to decarbonise tyre manufacturing, bio-based isoprene is being touted. Visolis, a company combining advanced bioengineering with chemical catalysis to provide sustainable, carbon-negative materials, has partnered with Ginkgo Bioworks, which is building the leading platform for cell programming and biosecurity. Visolis aims to leverage Ginkgo’s extensive capabilities in strain engineering to improve upon an existing microbial strain for the commercial production of a key feedstock ingredient used to make bio-based isoprene and sustainable aviation fuels.
Isoprene is a key monomer used for commercial scale synthetic rubber production. Achieving the production of bio-based isoprene at scale represents a significant step toward decarbonising tyre manufacturing. Isoprene can also be used as an intermediate for high performance, lower carbon intensity sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production. Visolis’ production efforts are geared towards providing molecules with higher energy density, lower viscosity and better compatibility with engines than traditional SAF processes. Visolis’ SAF has the potential to work synergistically with these other processes to enable aviation through a 100% sustainable fuel.
“We are incredibly proud of our platform that is producing carbon-negative materials and fuels,” said Deepak Dugar, founder and CEO at Visolis. “As we strive to continue improving our technology towards commercial readiness, partnering with Ginkgo to accelerate our progress just makes sense. With their large codebase of strains and pathway expertise, which can shorten strain engineering cycles, as well as their scalable foundry capabilities, we believe we can work towards bringing our process to the next level.”
Achieving bio-based isoprene production at scale is one of the most challenging biochemical synthesis processes due to the inherent properties of the molecule, including its combustibility, volatility and reactivity.
Visolis has developed a novel process by using a more stable intermediate, making isoprene through a two-step manufacturing process and enabling more efficient and reliable production. Through the partnership with Ginkgo, the two companies are working to further optimise the efficiency of this biomanufacturing process.