Production of Lipids and Biodiesel from Organic Waste Streams

Period of Performance: 02/21/2017 - 11/20/2017


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Visolis, Inc
1904 Haste St. Array
Berkeley, CA 94704
Firm POC, Principal Investigator


Transportation fuel is a trillion dollar market with ~50% in the form of diesel. Diesel is produced mainly from petroleum with renewable biodiesel making up less than 2% of the current market. Biodiesel made from crop oil is expensive to produce owing to high crop prices and cannot compete with petrodiesel without government subsidies. An alternative, cost competitive route to biodiesel is necessary to meet growing transportation needs while limiting environmental impact from greenhouse gas emission. Visolis aims to address this problem by developing novel engineered microbes to convert organic waste streams into biodiesel. This will simultaneously prevent organic food waste from reaching landfills and produce a green fuel that can directly be used with existing diesel engines. The key technology developed under the grant is a microorganism capable of digesting organic waste to produce lipids that upon simple chemical transformation results in a high quality renewable fuel. With full development, our process will produce an inexpensive 2nd generation biofuel that meets American and European transportation standards, which can compete with petrodiesel.