Deinove announces agreements with Abengoa, Suez Environnement

By Erin Voegele | June 03, 2014

On June 3, France-based Deinove announced a collaboration agreement with Abengoa and a separate research and development agreement with Suez Environnement Group. The company is focused on the optimization of fermentation and metabolic capabilities of the Deinococcus bacteria to produce biomass based fuels and chemicals.

The agreement with Abengoa makes the company the new industrial partner on Deinove’s Deinol project, replacing the Tereos Group. The project is a collaborative research program for the development of second-generation biofuel production processes using the Deinococcus bacteria. Information released by Deinove indicates that Tereos has supported the Deinol project since 2010 and is a shareholder in Deinove. The company, however, has waived its option the Deinol project. As such Deinove is welcoming, in agreement with Tereos and Bpifrance, Abengoa as the new industrial partner on the project. Bpifrance, formerly known as Oseo-ISI, agreed to provide the project for €8.9 million ($12.12 million) in 2010, including €6 million provided to Deinove. The company has already received €4 million of that commitment and has achieved the first key milestones.

The agreement with Abengoa is expected to span up to 36 months and focus on the development of Deinove’s consolidated bioprocess using Deinococcus bacterium to convert agricultural residues into ethanol. According to information released on the agreement, performances obtained with substrates supplied to Deinove by Abengoa will be evaluated in order to set up a process that can be implemented at the commercial scale, subject to adequate performance.

The two-year research and development agreement with Suez Environnement Group is the first step of a project that aims to explore the potential to convert urban organic waste into ethanol using the Deinococcus bacteria.

“With its amazing capacity for effectively degrading all types of biomass, Deinococcus creates value from waste that is little used today,” said Emmanuel Petiot, CEO of Deinove. “In cooperation with Suez Environnement, one of the world leaders in processing and recycling waste, we are expanding our potential markets and are contributing to the development of a real circular economy.”

The two companies have already been working together for six months. That research phase has confirmed waste substrates from Suez Environnement’s processing units can be converted into ethanol using the Deinococcus bacteria. The first phase of the new agreement will focus on optimizing the choice of substrates supplied by Suez Environnement and pretreatment conditions. It will also aim to determine the best strain of Deinococcus to adapt to the selected substrates and define the conditions need to achieve satisfactory ethanol production rates in 20-liter bioreactors.