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Cobalt Technologies Successfully Scales Commercial n-Butanol Production

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., April 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Cobalt Technologies ("Cobalt"), a leading developer of next generation bio-based chemicals, today announced the successful completion of a production campaign of n-butanol at a fermentation scale greater than 100,000 liters.  The performance demonstrates scalability by replicating the performance previously obtained at both the 10 liter bench scale and the 4,000 liter pilot scale.  This scale validation is a crucial stepping stone to finalizing any commercial project, since scale up to a commercial fermentor is under 10x, well within industry norms.

With the results achieved during the latest production run, Cobalt demonstrated a clear economic advantage over petroleum-based butanol under current market conditions.  Ongoing process improvements at commercial scale are expected to yield at least a 40 percent cost advantage.

"This most recent production run demonstrates commercial-scale metrics for Cobalt's biobutanol fermentation technology," said Bob Mayer , CEO, Cobalt Technologies. "Cobalt is on track to develop a commercial facility in Brazil and the one-tenth demonstration scale reinforces our confidence in the value and scalability of our technology platform."

The production run was carried out at a US-based contract manufacturing (CMO) facility with minimal modification to their existing aerobic system, highlighting the flexibility of Cobalt's anaerobic technology and showing the robustness of Cobalt's biocatalyst.  The demonstration also provides important validation of Cobalt's ability to take advantage of opportunities to retrofit or co-locate with existing ethanol plants, whether based on sugarcane or corn, for the production of butanol.  The demo supports attractive economics for these deployment models with further value enhancement by replacing food-based sugars with surrounding biomass.

About Cobalt Technologies
Cobalt Technologies is a leader in commercializing the production of bio n-butanol as a renewable chemical and fuel.  N-butanol is a widely used industrial chemical found in paints, lacquers and other surface coatings, with a global market of over $5 billion.  By producing low-cost bio n-butanol, Cobalt's unique technology enables the use of bio n-butanol as a platform molecule for the production of a broad array of fuels and chemicals, including jet fuel, bio-based plastics and synthetic rubber.  Cobalt's technology platform offers a continuous process to efficiently convert diverse non-food feedstocks into biobutanol.  Engineered to achieve low costs through its proprietary biocatalyst, advanced bioreactor, energy efficient design and the use of low-cost feedstock, Cobalt is making biobutanol and its derivatives a cost-effective substitute to petroleum-based chemical products.

Cobalt is based in Mountain View, Calif. Cobalt is backed by leading investors in the cleantech sector, including Pinnacle Ventures, Malaysian Life Sciences Capital Fund, VantagePoint Capital Partners, Parsons & Whittemore, Life Sciences Partners (LSP), @Ventures, Harris & Harris, Burrill and Company and strategic investors including Bunge Global Innovation, LLC.  For more information, please visit

SOURCE Cobalt Technologies
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