and Genomatica in strategic agreement to turn solid waste into
Waste Management and Genomatica announced
a strategic joint development agreement to research and advance
Genomatica’s technology and manufacturing processes to enable
production of intermediate and basic chemicals from syngas made
from municipal solid waste.
Under the agreement, Genomatica will create proprietary, specially-designed
organisms and complete manufacturing processes to efficiently
and economically convert syngas into chemical products. Genomatica’s
patents, intellectual property and technology platform should
facilitate further refinement of organisms and processes to allow
chemical production from syngas produced from locally-available
waste with varying characteristics. Biological production of
chemicals would provide another potential use for any syngas
produced by or for Waste Management through anaerobic digestion,
gasification and landfill gas.
Syngas is produced throughout the world from natural gas or liquid
hydrocarbons, and through the gasification of coal, biomass,
and waste materials. Syngas is a low-cost input material often
used to generate electricity, and can also be converted into
liquid fuels. Prior to Genomatica, converting syngas to chemicals
was primarily done through chemical processing techniques, which
were generally energy-intensive and limited in their ability
to produce specific chemical products. Supported by the new joint
development agreement, Genomatica is working to enable the conversion
of syngas into desired, major market intermediate and basic chemicals.
The joint development agreement with Genomatica complements Waste
Management’s comprehensive waste services in the areas of recycling,
landfill, waste-to-energy and landfill gas-to-energy. This agreement
will also help move Waste Management toward meeting three of
its sustainability goals – doubling its renewable energy production
and tripling the amount of recyclables processed by 2020, and
investing in emerging technologies for managing waste.