SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., April 17, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- LS9, Inc., a technology leader in the development of renewable and sustainable chemicals and fuels, today announced the expansion of its operations at the Company's Okeechobee, Florida demonstration facility with a successful customer trial. The Florida facility was initially designed, and has been used, to scale-up LS9's fermentation technology and generate large commercial samples for testing and product qualification by key partners and prospective customers. Since the company's initial run at 135,000 liter scale in the third quarter of last year, LS9 has made several additional fatty alcohol runs of this size as well as smaller production runs of fatty acid methyl esters (biodiesel).
In addition, LS9 has successfully completed a pilot production run at its Florida plant for another advanced bioproducts company, Cobalt Technologies. Fermentation scale-up is an expensive proposition and requires the proper facilities and expertise to make an effective run. The need to run trials is also intermittent so it is not cost-effective for many companies in the industry to make the investment in a larger plant. LS9's Florida demonstration plant was designed to manage a multitude of processes, and with this successful customer run, LS9 has proven it can leverage its state-of-the-art facility and the expertise of its operations staff to work with partners to commercialize renewable products. Given the success of the initial production run, Cobalt is considering future work at LS9's Florida facility.
"The capability to transition from the lab to 135,000 liter scale is a key milestone on our road to commercial success, and we know we are not alone in this requirement," said Tjerk de Ruiter, President and Chief Executive Officer of LS9. "Our ability to support other companies' technology scale-up activities is not only an example of the flexibility and the capabilities of our team, it is also an excellent example of how, as an industry, we can work together to make a renewable future a reality. This new revenue source, together with a recent $6 million investment from our current investors, positions LS9 to enter into new partnerships with our technology and advance our own products."
About Cobalt Technologies
Cobalt Technologies is a leader in commercializing the production of bio n-butanol as a renewable chemical and fuel. N-butanol is a widely used industrial chemical found in paints, lacquers and other surface coatings, with a global market of over $5 billion. By producing low-cost bio n-butanol, Cobalt's unique technology enables the use of bio n-butanol as a platform molecule for the production of a broad array of fuels and chemicals, including jet fuel, bio-based plastics and synthetic rubber. Cobalt's technology platform offers a continuous process to efficiently convert diverse non-food feedstocks into biobutanol. Engineered to achieve low costs through its proprietary biocatalyst, advanced bioreactor, energy efficient design and the use of low-cost feedstock, Cobalt is making biobutanol and its derivatives a cost-effective substitute to petroleum-based chemical products.
Cobalt is based in Mountain View, Calif. Cobalt is backed by leading investors in the cleantech sector, including Pinnacle Ventures, Malaysian Life Sciences Capital Fund, VantagePoint Capital Partners, Parsons & Whittemore, Life Sciences Partners (LSP), @Ventures, Harris & Harris, Burrill and Company and strategic investors including Bunge Global Innovation, LLC. For more information, please visit http://www.cobalttech.com.
About LS9, Inc.
LS9, Inc. is a technology leader in the commercial development of a growing portfolio of sustainable products to meet the needs of chemical and fuel markets worldwide. Its unique technology platform enables low costs, feedstock flexibility and process simplicity across a diversity of fermentation-derived products ranging from vehicle-ready fuels to chemicals for lubricants, detergents and personal care products. In 2010, LS9 was awarded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's highest environmental honor for its revolutionary technology. The Company's investors include Flagship Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Chevron Technology Ventures and BlackRock. LS9 is headquartered in South San Francisco, California. Further information can be found at www.ls9.com.