Mascoma is currently improving on its technology for the production of isopropyl alcohol (IPA) from both first and second generation sugars. IPA can be produced today as a byproduct of ethanol, improving overall economics for a typicalfirst generation corn ethanol or sugar cane ethanol mill. IPA can be produced at a cost less than or equivalent to the same product derived from oil and it can be converted into propylene, which is an important intermediate in the chemical industry.
Our current IPA technology utilizes an anaerobic pathway in an industrially relevant and robust yeast. Given this and, the characteristics of IPA, very little capital is required to retrofit an existing ethanol mill to produce this product in a more sustainable fashion.