MetGen Oy, based in Kaarina – Finland, has invented a revolutionary chemo-enzymatic pathway that enables streamlined processes towards platform chemicals like 2,5-Furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) also known as dehydromucic acid.
MetGen’s ENZINE® technology platform allows the design and production of the necessary enzymes to convert fully convert glucose into FDCA. In the conventional fructose-based process the conversion between glucose and fructose reaches an equilibrium at less than 50% fructose, therefore requiring an additional and inefficient separation step. The advantage of Metgen’s ENZINE® is the complete conversion of the glucose with no need of additional chemicals or co-factors to perform the bioconversion.
Furthermore, MetGen has filed a patent on the chemical route to convert the resulting sugars to oxidized forms of 5-HMF. In that respect the dehydration of the MetGen’s bioconversion product is considered to be much more efficient than the dehydration of fructose. This form of sugar is known to have above 90% conversion yields, whereas fructose dehydration has only around 60% yield.
MetGen’s MetZyme® enzymatic solutions cover the entire bio-based value chain from feedstock to high-value chemicals and enable the use of cellulosic feedstocks as well as the creation of entirely new bio-based materials. In this context, MetGen’s latest innovation also applies to the conversion of all types of cellulosic sugars to sugars that are easily convertible using a chemical process. This is believed to represent a major boost to the cost-competitiveness of any bio-refinery concept.
Alex Michine, MetGen CEO, states: “In this context, MetGen’s latest innovation on the chemo-enzymatic route to oxidized forms of 5-HMF, is a great example of our capacity to enable entire bio-based industries”.
MetGen’s new innovation provides a possibility to dramatically increase the efficiency and economics of renewable chemicals including, but not limited to, bioplastics. As such, it is therefore potentially a key accelerator of the displacement of fossil fuels as a feedstock by bio-based alternatives.