EASEL Biotechnologies Named Winner of the 2010 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award for Recycled Fuel Breakthroughs

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EASEL Biotechnologies awarded prestigious US Presidential award for “Recycling Carbon Dioxide to Biosynthesize Higher Alcohols.” These resulting biofuels have the potential to reduce CO2 emissions with higher efficiency and lower cost than any currently-available fuels

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), with support from the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute, today awarded the prestigious Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award to EASEL Biotechnologies for developing the world’s first biofuels derived from recycled carbon dioxide (CO2.) These breakthroughs are described in EASEL Co-Founder and UCLA Professor James C. Liao’s work, “Recycling Carbon Dioxide to Biosynthesize Higher Alcohols.”

EASEL’s recent accomplishments have helped them win support from a growing list of organizations.

“If 60 billion gallons of were used each year …Dr. Liao’s technology could eliminate about 500 million tons of CO2 emissions or about 8.3 percent of the total U.S. CO2 emissions,” said Sanjay Gupta, Advisor to the Board of EASEL Biotechnologies. Mr. Gupta also serves as SVP and Advisor to the Executive Chairman of The Abraxis Group, and is an investor and supporter of green technologies.    

Gupta added: "The Abraxis Group is pleased to support the innovative research that Dr. Liao and his colleagues are being honored for today. This is a critical step forward in environmentally-responsible energy development.”

EASEL’s next-generation technologies lead to lower emissions output and better air-quality than anything currently available, including corn ethanol, cellulosic ethanol or algal lipid processes.

One of the grand challenges of Green Chemistry is to recycle CO2 to synthesize fuel and chemicals. Previous efforts in this area involve indirect recycling of CO2 though plant or algae to obtain fuels. These multi-step processes reduced the overall efficiency of the resulting fuels while increases their costs significantly.

EASEL’s technology directly converts CO2 to higher alcohols (those with 3 to 8 carbons and higher energy content) or aldehydes using photosynthetic microorganisms through a one-pot bioprocessing. The simplicity of the process bypasses the time for plant biomass growth and the product is directly secreted out of the cell and easily recovered by simple gas stripping. This is the first success of direct synthesis of fuel and chemicals from CO2 and light with a significant productivity, bypassing that of all previously-available green energy sources.

“We have licensed various technologies developed at UCLA for biosynthesizing chemicals and fuels from renewable resources such as CO2, and are developing next-generation technologies to produce chemicals and fuels in a sustainable and cost competitive manner. Easel is currently in discussion with other industrial partners for developing commercialization strategies.” – Dr. James C. Liao, EASEL Co-Founder

Past recipients of Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award include Eastman Chemical, Proctor and Gamble and Merck & Co.

For detailed information on the award, visit http://www.epa.gov/gcc/
For information on EASEL’s green technologies, visit http://www.easelbio.com
For investor relations, contact Lauren Weiniger at IR(at)easelbio(dot)com or 424.208.7053

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