MOgene awarded $1.5 million from US Department of Energy

September 27, 2013

ST. LOUIS, MO--September 25, 2013, MOgene Green Chemicals LLC (MGC), a wholly owned subsidiary of MOgene, LC has been selected for a two-year, $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Project Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) to develop a technology that will convert natural gas into energy-dense transportation fuel at a more affordable cost. MGC will expand its research team based at the BioResearch and Development Growth (BRDG) Park to deliver the results and build a business in this area.

The MGC project is one of 15 energy projects selected by the ARPA-E to participate in the agency's new REMOTE program (Reducing Emissions using Methanotrophic Organisms for Transportation Energy). A total of $34 million was awarded to advance efforts to develop a low-carbon dioxide emissions technology that produces a liquid fuel from natural gas through efficient, low-cost biological conversion.

"We are very pleased to receive the ARPA-E funding," said Dr. Abhay Singh, who is leading the MGC and is serving as the principal investigator of the project. "Our technology will capture the ever expanding pool of natural gas resources within and outside of North America and transform them into transportation fuel. There is also an opportunity to capture stranded gas or bionatural gas and transforming them to higher density and infrastructure compatible fuels and chemicals. Cost and yield are major barriers in transformation of natural gas and our approach provides the opportunity to do both issues."

The key to MGC technology is the use of a photosynthetic bacterium which is known to utilize sunlight for its entire energy requirement including fixation of CO2. By combining energy from sunlight, MGC technology will convert natural gas into fuel and would minimize emission of greenhouse gases. Most methylotrophic organisms typically generate metabolic energy using natural gas as the substrate and if sunlight can be used as the source of this energy, it will increase efficiency, reduce equipment costs associated with the bio-based production of fuel from natural gas. When the technology is completely developed, it will be a single step conversion of natural gas into fuel.

"We are excited to receive this grant to test our concept to develop a process for cheaper and cleaner fuel," said Shaukat Rangwala, senior vice president of MOgene LC. "It allows us to expand, add more jobs and further promote St. Louis' efforts to be a hub for plant and life science innovation."
-end-
About ARPA-E

ARPA-E was officially authorized in 2007 and first funded in 2009. The Agency invests in high-potential, high-impact energy technologies that are too early for private-sector investment. ARPA-E is changing what's possible by thinking big, thinking bold, and thinking differently about energy innovation. For more information on ARPA-E and its innovative project portfolio, please visit http://www.arpa-e.energy.gov/.

About MOgene Green Chemicals, LLC

MOgene Green Chemicals LLC was established in 2010 as a wholly owned subsidiary of MOgene, LC. Both companies are located at BRDG Park at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center. The company's primary objectives are to engineer biocatalysts with novel functionality for production of molecules from non-food feedstocks that can be used for production of transportation fuel as well as commodity and specialty products. The parent company is a leader in providing genomics services. To learn more about MOgene, please visit, http://www.MOgene.com.

Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

Related Natural Gas Articles from Brightsurf:

Study reveals how to improve natural gas production in shale
A new hydrocarbon study contradicts conventional wisdom about how methane is trapped in rock, revealing a new strategy to more easily access the valuable energy resource.

A new material for separating CO2 from industrial waste gases, natural gas, or biogas
With the new material, developed at the University of Bayreuth, the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) can be specifically separated from industrial waste gases, natural gas, or biogas, and thereby made available for recycling.

Study of natural gas flaring finds high risks to babies
Researchers from USC and UCLA have found that exposure to flaring -- the burning off of excess natural gas -- at oil and gas production sites is associated with 50% higher odds of preterm birth, compared with no exposure.

Sweet or sour natural gas
Natural gas that contains larger amounts of hydrogen sulfide (H(2)S) and carbon dioxide (CO(2)) is termed sour gas.

Visualizing chemical reactions, e.g. from H2 and CO2 to synthetic natural gas
Scientists at EPFL have designed a reactor that can use IR thermography to visualize dynamic surface reactions and correlate it with other rapid gas analysis methods to obtain a holistic understanding of the reaction in rapidly changing conditions.

Effects of natural gas assessed in study of shale gas boom in Appalachian basin
A new study estimated the cumulative effects of the shale gas boom in the Appalachian basin in the early 2000s on air quality, climate change, and employment.

The uncertain role of natural gas in the transition to clean energy
A new MIT study examines the opposing roles of natural gas in the battle against climate change -- as a bridge toward a lower-emissions future, but also a contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.

Natural-gas leaks are important source of greenhouse gas emissions in Los Angeles
Liyin He, a Caltech graduate student, finds that methane in L.A.'s air correlates with the seasonal use of gas for heating homes and businesses

Enhanced natural gas storage to help reduce global warming
Researchers have designed plastic-based materials that can store natural gas more effectively.

Natural gas storage research could combat global warming
To help combat global warming, a team led by Dr.

Read More: Natural Gas News and Natural Gas Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.