Proterro, Bunge plan pilot study of sucrose production process

By Proterro Inc. | September 24, 2014

Biofeedstock company Proterro Inc. and Bunge Global Innovation LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of global agribusiness and food company Bunge Ltd., will conduct a pilot study of Proterro’s sucrose-production technology in Brazil.

Under a joint development agreement, a pilot plant is being commissioned at Bunge’s Moema Fazenda sugarcane mill, where two of Proterro’s photobioreactors have been installed to cultivate Proterro’s cyanobacteria for production of fermentable sugars for ethanol production.

The Bunge pilot plant will replicate the operations of Proterro’s U.S. pilot plant in Orlando, Florida, where four photobioreactors are currently deployed.

“Testing performed at this site in Brazil is particularly valuable to our development and progress, as it represents a climate, geography and CO2 source that are representative of our anticipated commercial production plant,” said Kef Kasdin, CEO of Proterro.

“Since our sugar-production technology is complementary to sugar-mill operations, success could result in an option for low-cost expansion of ethanol production in Brazil, while helping to meet environmental challenges and promote sustainable development of biofuel production,” she continued.

Proterro’s photobioreactor, cyanobacteria and its entire sugar-making process have been granted patents by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.