Amyris inks multi-million dollar farnesene deal

The company has won a contract with the US Department of Energy

The company has won a contract with the US Department of Energy to create lower-cost cellulosic farnesene

Amyris will use wood as the cellulosic feedstock to produce a low-cost farnesene

Amyris, the renewable chemicals company, has won a three-year multi-million dollar farnesene-manufacturing contract with the US Department of Energy.

The contract will see Amyris manufacture cellulose-derived farnesene for biofuels in partnership with Renmatix and Total New Energies USA.

The process uses wood as the cellulosic feedstock to produce farnesene, which is then used to make a range of products such as cosmetics, detergents, lubricants and diesel.

The aim of the project is to produce farnesene at the same projected cost of farnesene produced from sugarcane syrup.

Amyris President and CEO John Melo said the project, if successful, could enable farnesene cost below $1 per litre.

He said that this "will deliver breakthrough results in a variety of products, including biofuels, while at the same time leveraging the existing large forestry infrastructure to utilise renewable wood sources and wood waste as a sugar source to produce it".

Amyris predicts it will receive several million dollars annually over the three years when it reaches certain technical milestones.

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