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Spinout to pursue commercial production of bio-propane through synthetic biology

29 Sep 2015

A company which has the capability to utilise synthetic biology to facilitate the production of propane has been formally incorporated and is seeking to develop industrial partnerships.

Propane is used in heating and transport
Propane is used in heating and transport

C3 Bio-Technologies a University of Manchester spin-out, is based on cutting-edge research originating from the University’s Institute of Biotechnology, will investigate the use of micro-bacterial technologies in the production of bio-propane.
The company seeks to develop an economically-sustainable manufacturing process for full-scale bio-propane production.
Commenting on the formation of C3 Bio-Technologies, Director Michael Smith, said:
"This cutting-edge process has the potential to revolutionise the production of bio-fuel, forgoing the environmental issues associated with extracting fuel from non-renewable sources and drastically reducing the transport costs and carbon emissions associated with production.
"Similarly, bio-propane is a versatile, high-density energy source that does not increase the mass of carbon released into the environment as a consequence of using conventional combustion processes, because the carbon cycle is a fully closed loop."
"The benefits of fossil fuel-based LPG (liquid petroleum gas) are already proven within the world energy market and a robust, reliable distribution infrastructure exists, which will enable the new volumes of bio-propane to be introduced to the market without significant change or investment from both local suppliers and consumers."
Professor Nigel S. Scrutton, Director of the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology and co-founder of the company, added:

“C3-Biotechnologies seeks to bring a cutting-edge process to market that has fantastic potential and is built on landmark research into the developing field of synthetic biology. We foresee a great deal of industry demand for this exciting offering.”
The first public introduction to the technology took place at the annual conference of UKLPG, the UK trade association for the liquefied petroleum gas industry, on Thursday September 10th.
The commercial structure of C3 Bio-Technologies is spearheaded by two long-standing specialists from Biotechnology Research and the LPG industry. Professor Nigel S. Scrutton is the Director of Manchester Institute of Biotechnology and Michael Smith is the Director of PressureTech Transport Services Ltd - a specialist regional supplier of LPG.  UMIP, the University’s agent for technology transfer, will assist with early stage business development and intellectual property matters.
The process for industrial-scale development is currently being prepared for global licensing and companies with an appropriate level of established industrialisation are invited to submit an initial expression of interest to engage in preliminary negotiations for authority of use.

Notes for editors

For media enquiries contact:

Mike Addelman
Media Relations Officer
Faculty of Life Sciences
University of Manchester
0161 2752111