Bioenergy

Athena Recieves DOE Grant for Ethanol Microbe Research

Athena Biotechnologies, Inc. has won a Department of Energy Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant award to research new microbes that could reduce the cost of ethanol production. The goal of the project is to develop an energy efficient, simplified, high temperature ethanol production process that will result in a 10% reduction in the cost of bio-ethanol through discovery of new microbes that both live and produce ethanol at high temperatures.

Athena’s project will target bacteria that produce ethanol from cellulose as well as from food sources such as corn so that the impact of ethanol production on the cost of food can be reduced.

“Our patented technologies including Quorum Sensing Quenching give us at least a ten-fold improvement in the opportunity to culture and isolate novel hyper-thermophiles for increased energy efficiency in ethanol production versus current methodologies. We look forward to culturing these bacteria that produce ethanol at temperatures in excess of 80°C so that the production cost of ethanol can be significantly reduced from the current levels,” said Dr. Barry Marrs, CTO for Athena Biotechnologies.