Visolis is a biotechnology and chemical processing company that was founded by Deepak Dugar in 2012, and is headquartered in Berkeley, California. Visolis has created a technology platform, called the Visolis process, based on an engineered microbe coupled with efficient processing, leading to near theoretical energy and carbon efficiency.The Visolis process enables the production of bio-based elastomers, unsaturated polyester resins, polyurethanes, and other products using a variety of feedstocks, including agricultural waste, dextrose, and syngas. Visolis owns patents for manufacturing microbe-derived mevalonic acid and related polymers and one derivative could replace industrial solvents that are carcinogenic and bad for the environment.
Visolis uses synthetic biology for green and cost-effective production. The claimed flexibility in their production process allowing for changes in products in response to market conditions could potentially reduce commercial risk. Compared to petroleum-based processes, the Visolis process could reduce the cost of products by 20-50 percent and reduce greenhouse gas emission by more than 70% and bio-based materials produced in these processes can trap carbon.
Through Cyclotron Road, a fellowship program at Berkeley, California, Visolis collaborated with Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts Process Development Unit (ABPDU) to demonstrate its process.
Visolis received a Small Business Voucher of $300,000 from the U.S. Department of Energy to work with laboratory staff at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to validate its processes and generate samples to test product purity. Visolis will also analyse the technological requirements and the economics of scaling up the technology. In addition to bio-based elastomers, further in the future when the technology moves down the cost curve, the technology will be applied to produce fuel such as high-energy-density jet fuels.
Visolis has received funding from the U.S. government through Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) for the following projects:
$1,010,000 for “Production of High Value Products from Gaseous Waste Streams” (2018)
$155,000 for “Production of Lipids and Biodiesel from Organic Waste Streams” (2018)
$1,010,000 for “Production of C5 Hydrocarbons from Waste Biomass” (2017)
$150,000 for “Production of High Value Products from Gaseous Waste Streams” (2017)
$687,510 for “SBIR Phase II: High performance monomers from biomass” (2017)
$600,000 for Catalytic Production of Hydrocarbon from Biomass (2016)
$150,000 for “Production of C5 Hydrocarbons from Waste Biomass” (2016)
$100,000 for “Catalytic production of hydrocarbons from biomass” (2016)
$225,000 for “STTR Phase I: High performance polymers from biomass (2015)
LCY Biotechnology is a company formed by LCY Group, a Taiwanese chemical maker, and Visolis. In 2018 LCY Biotechnology bought the BioAmber plant in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada built to ferment succinic acid from sugar that had filed for bankruptcy. LCY aims to use the plant to process biobased chemicals through fermentation.
Vice President of Bioengineering
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