Taurus Energy poised to bring 2nd generation yeast to U.S. market

By Holly Jessen | June 19, 2015

A company based in Lund, Sweden, recently received a welcome notification from the U.S. EPA, indicating the company’s 90-day Microbial Commercial Activity Notice review has been completed without objections. This puts Taurus Energy AB in the position to commence commercial production and sales of its trademarked Taurus XyloFerm yeast in the U.S.

Taurus Energy specializes in a genetically modified yeast for cellulosic ethanol, which it has been working to bring to market since 2006. “There have been many hurtles along the way,” said Eddy Christensson, vice president of sales and marketing for North America for Taurus Energy. The company has been working with customers currently building second generation ethanol plants in the U.S., he told Ethanol Producer Magazine. “Our goal is not to be No. 2, we want to be the best,” he said, adding that the way to achieve that is not by talking about it, but with action.

In early May, the company was selected as the yeast provider for a cellulosic ethanol demonstration plant under development in France. The European Commission awarded a total of 20 million Euros ($17.8 million) to be shared between French production companies CIVM, Rolkem, enzyme maker Dyadic and Taurus Energy. (For more information, see a press release about the 2G Biopic refinery project.)  A few weeks after that announcement, Lallemand Biofuels & Distilled Spirits said it had signed an agreement for U.S. development, marketing, selling and licensing of Taurus Energy’s XyloFerm yeast for cellulosic ethanol.

The company’s principal scientist, Nicklas Bonander, spoke at the International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo on June 3. His presentation, Taurus XyloFerm® Yeast Technology Offers More Efficient Cellulosic Ethanol Production, was part of a breakout session entitled Starch Ethanol’s Cellulosic Sequel Also Begins with Biology.