Home » Biomanufacturing, chemicals & materials » ZymoChem Awarded $4.2 Million from ARPA-E for Transformational Biomanufacturing Technology

ZymoChem Awarded $4.2 Million from ARPA-E for Transformational Biomanufacturing Technology

Through its proprietary biomanufacturing technology, ZymoChem aims to expedite decarbonization of the chemical industry.

SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA – ZymoChem, Inc. today announced it received two awards worth a combined $4.2 million from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). These awards will fund projects leveraging ZymoChem’s proprietary carbon conserving (C2) biomanufacturing technology for the production of chemicals at 100 percent carbon efficiency with the aim to replace current fossil fuel-based manufacturing of materials and everyday consumer products.

“This funding comes at a critical growth period for ZymoChem’s technology platform,” said Harshal Chokhawala, CEO and co-founder of ZymoChem. “These funds will provide additional resources for us to advance our technology, accelerate product commercialization, and continue to propel our hiring streak. We are grateful to work with ARPA-E and to be a part of the innovative investment portfolio that is fundamentally reshaping the carbon efficiencies achievable with biomanufacturing.”

Over several years, ZymoChem has been improving its patent-pending C2 Microbes, which enable production processes with 100 percent carbon efficiency, a >50 percent improvement over standard biomanufacturing organisms used today. The improved mass efficiency of fermentations running on the company’s C2 microbes, coupled with its proven scalability, leads to a more cost-competitive process compared to standard biomanufacturing and petroleum-based manufacturing processes. Together, these advantages create an opportunity to deploy biomanufacturing for many chemicals and materials widely used at the commercial level – namely without any added costs – which will foster the chemical industry’s transition toward decarbonization and circularity.

As part of the two awards, ZymoChem will be developing its C2 Microbes to utilize biomass-derived feedstocks in conjunction with renewable electricity and C1-based feedstocks. The two projects will also be supported by Professor Shota Atsumi and Professor Louise Berben at the University of California, Davis, as well as Michael Guarnieri, a Research Scientist in the National Bioenergy Center’s Applied Biology Group at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

For more detailed descriptions of the two projects awarded funding by ARPA-E, please visit ARPA-E’s website.

ZymoChem received its competitive awards through ARPA-E’s Energy and Carbon Optimized Synthesis for the Bioeconomy (ECOSynBio) program. ECOSynBio works to develop advanced synthetic biology tools to engineer novel biomass conversion platforms and systems that are more efficient and produce less emissions than current fermentation processes widely used in biorefining.


ZymoChem is an emerging leader in biomanufacturing of chemicals and materials. For additional information about ZymoChem, Inc., please visit www.zymochem.com.


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