Intrexon Partners with Dominion to Explore Conversion of Biogas to Isobutanol
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CA: To discover the potential for commercial-scale biological conversion of natural gas to isobutanol, Intrexon Energy Partners (IEP), a child company of Intrexon Corporation, has signed an agreement with Dominion Energy, a subsidiary of Dominion Resources.
Intrexon has a proprietary methanotroph bioconversion platform, which has the ability to transform the gas-to-liquids (GTL) industry through the use of optimized microbial cell lines to convert natural gas into higher carbon compounds, however, through this collaboration both the companies are trying to avoid the over-expenses of GTL method.
“We are excited to partner with IEP and help realize the promise of their GTL platform to harness a plentiful feedstock in natural gas for the bio-production of isobutanol. Dominion is committed to being a good environmental steward while providing reliable, affordable energy services for our customers.” States Diane Leopold, President, Dominion Energy.
This shift eradicates costly, resource intensive thermochemical GTL conversion methods, and delivers a biofuel that does not utilize sugar or other plant-based feedstock. Also, it offers a cleaner burning combustion with less corrosion, which holds more of gasoline’s energy content leading to longer travel and is economical to blend with gas too. In addition, it is compatible with current petroleum infrastructure.
Moreover, the agreement between the two companies also states that Dominion will be the partner of IEP to construct, own, operate and maintain the production facilities in the Marcellus and Utica Shale Basins. The alliance plans to make natural gas bioconversion facilities within the geographic region of Marcellus and Utica Shale Basins leading to the creation of job opportunities and generation of local and state tax revenue.
Commenting on the new alliance, Robert F. Walsh, Senior VP and Head of Intrexon’s Energy Sector, says, “Dominion’s operational leadership in natural gas processing and transport along with extensive geographic footprint makes them an ideal partner to scale-up and commercialize IEP’s bioconversion platform. We believe our innovative biological solution for converting low cost natural gas into higher valued fuels, lubricants and chemicals will transform the gas to liquids field.”