Xylome files patent on radically new technology to make a palm oil substitute:
- Assignors: Thomas W. Jeffries, Christopher H. Calvey and David Z. Mokry
- Assignee: Xylome Corporation, Madison,WI
Xylome scientists have engineered a native lipogenic yeast to overexpress key genes for lipid production from substrates found in grain ethanol stillage. This has increased both the rate of lipogenesis and lipid accumulation. The consumption of residual starch in thin stillage was enhanced by over-expressing highly active amylases. The consumption of glycerol was also increased. Glycerol is a major component of thin stillage that is generated during ethanol production. Activities of enzymes for its uptake, metabolism and conversion into triglycerides were all increased. One of the enzymes overexpressed by Xylome scientists captures and incorporates CO2, thereby reducing CO2 release and initiating fatty acid synthesis. Xylome scientists have altered enzymatic activities to increase the supply of cofactors for lipid synthesis, increased activities of fatty acid synthases, and altered the expression of various fatty acid reductases, elongases and desaturases, which change the lipid profile. They have also increased enzymes to transfer newly formed fatty acids onto glycerol to form di- and tri-glycerides as well. In addition to substantially improving the consumption of thin stillage, Xylome has developed processes for rapid cultivation and lipogenesis on various stillage streams and for the recovery of a palm oil substitute from the engineered, lipogenic yeast. Xylome yeast-oil is a suitable feedstock for biodiesel or other higher value products.
Xylome also has proprietary technology for the transformation, metabolic engineering mating, adaptive evolution and selection of unconventional yeasts to increase substrate utilization rates and lipid production from hydrolysates.