Ingeo® lactides and biopolymers developer NatureWorks LLC, Minnetonka, Minn., and Calysta Energy
Inc., Menlo Park, Calif. — developer of methane-based biological gas-to-liquids™ (BioGTL™) and
biological gas-to-chemicals™ (BioGTC™) technologies — have announced a collaboration to develop a
process to ferment methane into lactic acid, which is used for the production of Ingeo, lactide
intermediates and biopolymers. The companies believe that commercialization of such a process could
broaden and complement the range of carbon-based feedstocks currently used in Ingeo production and
result in reduced Ingeo production costs.
Ingeo currently is produced from “first-generation” simple plant sugars such as cornstarch or
cane sugar. NatureWorks is also looking into the use of “second-generation” cellulosic sources such
as bagasse, a byproduct of sugarcane processing. Calysta’s BioGTC platform could enable NatureWorks
to utilize methane as a feedstock that is said to be “several generations removed” from the
first-generation feedstocks. According to NatureWorks, diversification of feedstocks would enable
it to produce Ingeo using carbon sources that are most abundant, available and appropriate for the
region in which the production facility is located.