Xylome describes sustainable technology for engineered oils from agricultural byproducts
Madison, Wisconsin September 10, 2020
Each year, the roughly 200 industrial ethanol plants in the U.S. collectively produce about 30 million metric tons (m.t.) of low-value waste stream called stillage containing water-soluble organics and corn fiber residues. Disposing of stillage is problematic. However, Xylome, a small business based in Madison, WI, has developed a way to use the waste stream as a consistent, stable feedstock for conversion to valuable products. The company has genetically engineered a novel yeast to enable this transformation.
Find a brief description of the technology in the American Institute for Chemical Engineering (AIChE) August Issue – now on line
Xylome awarded foundational patent on engineered yeast for lipid production
Madison, Wisconsin May 26, 2020
The U.S. Patent Office has recognized Xylome’s exclusive right to claims under US 10,662,448 for “Compositions and methods for producing lipids and other biomaterials from grain ethanol stillage and stillage derivatives”.
Lipogenic yeasts are modified to express, constitutively express, or overexpress numerous enzymes for lipid synthesis and substrate utilization. The yeasts in some cases are also modified to reduce or ablate activity of certain proteins. The methods include cultivating the yeast to convert low value soluble organic stillage byproducts into lipids suitable for biodiesel production and other higher value uses.
Xylome acquires Sarnaya to provide base for cosmetic applications
Madison, Wisconsin, November 10, 2019
Xylome has acquired Sarnaya Skincare to provide the base materials for its skin cream. Xylome will begin production of yeast oil (Yoil™) at its contract facilities in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin by May, 2021.
DOE selects Xylome to make biodiesel and higher value products from stillage fiber
Madison, Wisconsin September 4, 2018
The BioEnergy Technologies Office (BETO) within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) informed Xylome that it’s application submitted in response to a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) was selected for award negotiations. Xylome must match 20% of the total project costs, which total approximately $1.3 million. The objective of the project is to generate biodiesel and higher value products from stillage fiber. The broader impact and commercial potential of this project is to produce, the next generation of sustainable, renewable, clean burning, high energy density, transportation biofuels. The project includes commercial collaboration with two large industrial ethanol producers.
Xylome Corporation awarded U.S. Department of Agriculture Phase I SBIR grant
Madison, Wisconsin – June 1, 2017
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded Xylome Corporation $100,000 for a Phase I Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant to develop a Novel process for omega-3 oil production from agricultural byproducts. The grant, which started on June 1, 2017, focuses on metabolic engineering a yeast to produce omega-3 fatty acids for aquaculture.
Xylome Corporation awarded an SBIR Advance Award from Wisconsin for commercial and business development
Madison, Wisconsin – March 1, 2017
The Wisconsin SBIR Advance program awarded Xylome $75,000 for commercial and business development activities within Wisconsin. This grant has enabled Xylome to attend two trade shows that brought in major customer leads. It has also supported customer research that led to a new prospective product line.
Xylome awarded NSF Phase II SBIR grant
Xylome News Release, Madison, Wisconsin – Sept 20, 2016
Xylome Corporation was awarded $750,000 to develop a “Novel bioprocess for lipid production from industrial byproducts”. The two-year grant for $750,000, which started on October 1, 2016, will run through September 30, 2018.
The purpose of this Phase II project is to produce economically the next generation of sustainable, renewable, clean burning, high energy density, transportation biofuels. The proposed technology once successfully developed will enable existing biofuel producers to reduce their costs while increasing the value and diversity of their byproducts. It will convert their industrial waste products into tailored fatty acids suitable for biodiesel.
Xylome Corporation awarded National Science Foundation Phase I SBIR grant
Innovative research designed to lower the cost of lignocellulosic biodiesel
Madison, Wisconsin – July 1, 2015
The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded Xylome Corporation $150,000 for a Phase I Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant to develop a Novel process for lipid production from industrial byproducts. The grant, which starts on July 1, 2015, will focus on metabolic engineering a yeast to produce fatty acids for biodiesel production.
The successful completion of this project will facilitate conversion of existing biofuel and biomass byproduct streams into useful commercial fatty acids while reducing processing costs. In the longer term, the technology could enhance production of higher value second-generation biofuels. Xylome’s proposed technology could produce approximately 1.2 million gallons of biodiesel/yr. worth about $4 million from the byproducts of a single 70 million gallon ethanol plant. Beyond sugars from byproduct streams of existing ethanol plants, Xylome’s technology platform could facilitate fatty acid production from cellulosic and hemicellulosic sugars serving as a feedstock for cellulosic biofuel production.
The first objective of this Phase I research project is to enable lipid production during growth. The second will be to relieve biological constraints. The project will alter regulation of genes that limit production and introduce pathways that expand capacity. Yeasts, and fungi synthesize lipid when given excess carbon and limiting nitrogen, but low levels of lipid synthesis occurs during cell growth. Normally lipid only accumulates in cellular vacuoles after cell division has stopped. This requires extended cultivation times, and the amount of lipid that can be formed is constrained by the cell volume. The proposed approach will overexpress the enzymes for lipid synthesis so that the engineered cells will produce oil during growth while maintaining high levels of metabolic activity. New pathways will be introduced along with processes that will enable continuous lipid recovery. These modifications should enable a) lipid production in continuous high-density culture, thereby overcoming inherent low rates of lipid synthesis, and b) continuous separation of lipid, thereby alleviating the need for cell harvest, rupture and extraction. Xylome plans to increase its staffing to take on the new NSF-sponsored project.
Xylome Corporation opens new research facility in UW Research Park
Move adds space, equipment, meeting rooms and support
Madison, Wisconsin – April 1, 2015
Xylome Corporation expanded its research space and acquired new equipment and facilities for microbiological and molecular biology research in its move to the University of Wisconsin Research Park. The addition of chemical and P-2 biocontainment hoods along with HPLC, additional incubator and shaker space, the MGE Innovation Center in UW Research Park provides substantial support with meeting rooms, high speed internet and the opportunity to interact with many other biotechnology companies.
Xylome Corporation signs licensing and equity agreements with the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation
Technology package covers unconventional yeasts for the production of biofuel, renewable chemicals
MADISON, Wis. – Xylome Corporation has reached a deal with the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) that gives Xylome the right to develop and market unconventional yeasts for the production of biofuels and renewable chemicals from cellulosic and hemicellulosic feedstocks.
The licensing agreement covers several technologies, including: the genetic transformation of widely studied native xylose- and cellobiose-fermenting yeasts; highly effective sugar transporters; and mutations in key genes that enhance xylose metabolism. Also covered are metabolically engineered yeasts for the synthesis of ethanol and other products, and cultivation conditions that enable co-fermentation of glucose along with xylose and cellulosic sugars.
The vast majority of yeast metabolic engineering efforts are aimed at conventional brewing and bread-making yeasts, however, conventional yeasts do not use all the cellulosic and hemicellulosic sugars found in biomass, so they must be genetically modified. To get around this problem, Xylome has developed naturally occurring, non-GMO yeasts that natively ferment the sugars from cellulosic feedstocks.
At the same time, Xylome’s technology enables genetic modification of these non-conventional yeasts to synthesize novel products. By targeting non-conventional yeasts that use a wider range of low-cost feedstocks Xylome can start from yeast platforms that have higher native capacities for product formation. Therefore, Xylome’s non-GMO yeasts can be used to convert cellulosic sugars into biofuels and can be genetically modified for synthetic biology applications as well.
“These technologies, along with Xylome’s accumulated know-how and proprietary platform strains, constitute a solid foundation for commercial development of unconventional yeast technologies,” says Thomas Jeffries, president of Xylome Corp.
“The genetic and processing technologies covered under these agreements have already proven their worth in laboratory and pilot trials,” says Jeffries. “Xylome expects to conduct commercial trials, production and ongoing development for target markets in the U.S. and abroad. The strong native fermentation capacities of our non-GMO platform strains along with effective, flexible genetic tools create a very powerful combination.”
Xylome is currently working with several companies to evaluate low-cost feedstocks from cellulosic and other sources. Technology covered under the current agreement was developed in conjunction with the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC).