Saturday, November 27, 2010

Problems in patenting Clostridium carboxidivorans strain

In a post in April 2009 title --
Coskata receives unfavorable Office Action on clostridium (11/441,392)
--, IPBiz noted difficulties of Coskata and colleagues with the Clostridium patent application.

Troubles have continued. In a nonfinal Office Action mailed 25 Aug 2010, there is a rejection under 112 P 1 as to the remaining claims 1-3. It seems that a deposit made pursuant to 37 CFR 1.801 ff may not be in full compliance with the rules.

Cross-reference: 2007-0275447 A1

In voting at Biofuels Digest:

Gevo, Solazyme, Amyris, DDCE, Novozymes, Genencor, POET, LS9, Codexis and Cargill formed the top 10 after the eleventh day of subscriber balloting for the 50 Hottest Companies in Bioenergy. Voters have submitted more than 57,000 total votes to date in the polling.

Sapphire Energy, BP Biofuels, Shell, OriginOil, Coskata, Petrobras, Algenol, Chevron, Abengoa Bioenergy, and Mascoma formed the second 10.

From Ethanol Producer on the report of Debbie Niemeier, a UC Davis professor :

The UC Davis report compliments recent industry criticism regarding the treatment of emerging technologies in the renewable fuel standard (RFS). The U.S. EPA is scheduled to finalize its 2011 RFS volumes by Nov. 30 and is likely to nearly extinguish the cellulosic biofuel volume requirements when compared to the original volume requirements set forth in 2007. In July, the EPA proposed a range of between 5 and 17.1 million gallons for cellulosic biofuels next year, as opposed to the 250 million gallons originally called for in the RFS legislation. The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently estimated that actual production next year will be even less than 5 million gallons and recommended the EPA should lower its 2011 cellulosic volume to 3.94 million gallons. Ethanol producers and industry representatives echo the findings by the UC Davis researchers and argue that reduced federal mandates scare away investors. Therefore, increased mandates, or at least maintained volume levels, are necessary to nurture emerging alternatives.

“We have to have a target and we need to stick with it,” said Andy Foster, president and chief operating officer of AE Biofuels Inc.’s advanced biofuels division. “The problem when the government keeps moving numbers around is that it creates a level of uncertainty that is unsettling to companies that are developing technology as well as to investors. It sends a signal that there’s not a consistent policy in place. I understand the need to have an accurate estimate as to what to expect for the nation’s fuel supply, but I think revising the RFS up and down on a constant basis tends to add a bit of uncertainty to the marketplace about whether this industry has long-term government support.”

Of Coskata's Wes Bolsen-->

Wes Bolsen: Wes holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Rose-Hulman, and received his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

From Biorefining Magazine:

While the current situation may be less than ideal, the EPA’s actions do reflect an important first step in opening the market to allow for greater use of ethanol-blended fuels. In the short term, the fuel waiver approval is expected to help spur investment in commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plants. “It provides confidence to investors that the U.S. government is going to continue to increase our use of renewable fuels,” says Wes Bolsen, Coskata Inc.’s chief marketing officer and vice president of government affairs. “Right now, Coskata is looking to start building our first commercial plant, so of course it helps in the sense that it gives investors additional confidence.” That extra confidence should be created later this year when EPA approves the second portion of the wavier for 2001 though 2006 cars and light-duty trucks, he says.

Glenn Nedwin, executive vice president of technical enzymes at Genencor, a Division of Danisco, agrees. “Once the second decision comes, then it is going to get much more attractive for investors because we now see there is growth potential in the industry,” he says. “With an open market now, we will definitely see more investment coming.” However, the E15 approval is only one step in the right direction towards increasing the use of ethanol. “This is a first step,” Bolsen says. “We see this E15 waiver as a first step in a bigger plan to get to very high volumes of cellulosic ethanol.” The big question now is what the second step might be. “What is our plan?” says Bolsen. “Do we have the enduring policy to start putting in the infrastructure, meaning blender pumps and [flex-fuel] vehicles? What is the strategy? Is it E15, then E20, then E25, or are we talking about a much bigger plan?”

Entirely separately, not Sapphire's US 20100297749 , titled METHODS AND SYSTEMS FOR BIOFUEL PRODUCTION.


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