Calysta Energy, NatureWorks successfully ferment methane into lactic acid


Almost a year ago to the day, NatureWorks and Calysta Energy, a company specialized in the development of industrial products from sustainable sources, announced a multi-year collaboration to research and develop a practical, world-scale production process for fermenting methane into lactic acid, the building block for NatureWorks' trademark Ingeo PLA bioplastic. Now, a year into the R&D collaboration, Calysta has announced the achievement of an important milestone: according to the company, it has successfully fermented this abundantly available gas into lactic acid at lab scale.

"This important milestone was achieved ahead of schedule, and demonstrates the capability of Calysta's proprietary biological gas-to-chemicals synthetic biology platform to create new manufacturing pathways using methane as an advantaged and sustainable feedstock," said Alan Shaw, Ph.D., Calysta president and CEO.

A greenhouse gas 20 times more harmful than carbon dioxide, methane is generated by the natural decomposition of plant materials and is a component of natural gas. Methane is also generated from society's organic wastes and is produced from such activities as wastewater treatment, decomposition in landfills and anaerobic digestion. The developed technology could directly access carbon from any of these sources.
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