Amyris Biotechnologies on Wednesday announced the opening of a pilot facility in Emeryville, Calif., that turns sugar cane into diesel fuel through genetically designed microbes.
The company is at the forefront of a commercial movement to use biotechnology to convert plants into fuels that resemble petroleum-based hydrocarbons.
Amyris' technique is to genetically engineer a yeast that can metabolize sugar into the desired molecules. Its first effort was to develop a malaria vaccine, which it continues to do, and it has since developed a focus on renewable fuels.
"We're engineering the yeast, reprogramming it from making alcohols to making … Read more