Matrix Genetics and biofuel from cyanobacteria
McCormick: The reason why algae is so interesting as a potential fuel source is that the productivity per acre is so much higher than any other type of terrestrial feedstock. If you look at something like corn or canola or soybean, on average those crops are able to produce 50 to 100 gallons per acre. The potential for algae is closer to 4,000 to 6,000 gallons per acre. To be honest, most companies aren’t there yet. But it’s because you can get a hundred-fold productivity increase per acre that it becomes interesting to pursue algae to be an important part of the feedstock portfolio.
I think it’s a mistake to think that algae will replace all petroleum or will be the only feedstock that will replace petroleum. I think it’s a portfolio approach. Algae grow really well in some areas, using Co2 and sunlight, and you could use brackish water, not fresh water. There are some really compelling arguments as to why algae should be thought of as a key element of our alternative fuel strategy. There’s other areas where other feedstocks could be grown, where algae is less suitable.
Matrix Genetics is a biotechnology subsidiary of Targeted Growth Inc., located in Seattle, Washington and focused on improving cyanobacteria as a platform for biofuel production. Matrix Genetics is building upon exciting new insights into the flux of photosynthetically fixed carbon in cyanobacteria in order to substantially improve the yield of various hydrocarbons.
Note published US patent application 20100184169 , titled Modified Photosynthetic Microorganisms With Reduced Glycogen and Their Use in Producing Carbon-Based Products. The initial case received a final rejection from Examiner Rebecca Prouty on 3 Nov. 2011. There were rejections for lack of written description, lack of enablement, and anticipation over Vermaas, WO 2008/130437. There was also an obviousness rejection.
An RCE was filed and there was an examiner interview on 11 Sept. 2012.
**Separately, on green technology and the USPTO: