Mascoma Corporation and VTT are working together to develop a breakthrough in
technology used for the production of biofuels from cellulose. Mascoma is
developing a production process in which ethanol is manufactured using yeast,
which is efficient in producing both enzymes that break down vegetable
material into sugars and the end product, ethanol. Even if the technology only
proves to be a partial success, it would still mean a major advance.
VTT has been involved in Mascoma's yeast development efforts for nearly two
years. VTT´s Research Professor Merja Penttilä believes that yeast will prove
to be an efficient production organism in the new process. Yeast is
traditionally used in the production of ethanol and performs well even in
US-based Mascoma Corp. commissioned
the research required for producing enzymes in yeast from VTT in September
2007. The project is set to last four years with VTT investing a total of
approximately 16 man-years.