White Dog Labs continues to invent and develop strategies that harness the awesome ability of special microorganisms to simultaneously consume carbohydrates and gases to efficiently produce metabolites at tremendous yields. The scientific name for our approach is Anaerobic, Non-Photosynthetic Mixotrophy, or in our new layman’s terms – MixoFerm. The detailed theory and technical opportunities can be found in several of our recent publications.
- Clostridia: the importance of their exceptional substrate and metabolite diversity for biofuel and biorefinery applications.
- Acetogenic Mixotrophy: novel options for yield improvement in biofuels and biochemical production
The petrochemical and fuel industry has developed over the past 150 years upon feedstocks (i.e., raw material inputs) such as petroleum, natural gas and coal that are very energy rich. In contrast, biomass and carbohydrate feedstocks possess less energy per unit of mass. Consequently, biobased feedstocks have an inherent challenge to produce the same chemicals and fuels that the petrochemical industry produces at high efficiencies and yields. MixoFerm addresses this challenge by adding energy to the fermentation in the form of energy dense gases.
MixoFerm uses the reducing potential of sugar. MixoFerm Plus adds reductant and potentially more carbon feedstock to the bioreactor in the form of gas. This technology allows for new theoretical maximum yields whereby all carbon in sugar is converted to any reduced product of interest. Moreover, our process has the potential to completely eliminate CO2 emissions during fermentation, a concept we call "Zero-CO2 Fermentation."
Lastly, MixoFerm is performed by naturally occurring bacteria, which we adapt to new environments and in certain cases engineer to produce new products that result in natural, biobased drop-ins for a diversity of petrochemicals and fuels, and exciting co-products such as animal feed and fertilizer.