Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC)
has a Toyota Biotechnology and Afforestation Laboratory in Aichi prefecture to showcase technologies developed there as part of its biotechnology and afforestation businesses. We are talking about yeast that increases the production yield of cellulosic ethanol bio-fuel.
According to Toyota and their Bio-fuels (cellulosic ethanol) Fermentation of xylose, one of the sugars produced when plant fibers are broken down in the enzymatic saccharification process, is normally difficult to achieve with naturally occurring yeasts. However, TMC’s newly developed yeast is not only highly efficient at fermenting xylose but also highly resistant to such fermentation-inhibiting substances as acetic acid. As a result, the yeast has achieved one of the highest ethanol fermentation density levels in the world* (approximately 47 g/liter), and is expected to improve bio-fuel yield and significantly reduce production costs.
Bottom line here is that Toyota is focusing on cellulosic ethanol. This is a great play since they are creating plants that you can’t eat and will have less on an impact on world food supplies as we have with corn for ethanol.
However they are still working on the cost factors to be cheaper or comparable to gas. At Toyota’s rate, better watch out or Toyota is gonna become the next energy company of the future. They are looking only to 2020 to commercialize cellulostic ethanol.
That is not far away.
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