Monsanto Will Collaborate With and Invest $7 Million in Biosynthetic Technologies
Clean Edge News
Monsanto Company and Biosynthetic Technologies recently announced license and supply agreements that should expand the market opportunity for Vistive Gold soybean growers. This arrangement also includes a $7 million equity investment by Monsanto in Biosynthetic. The collaboration creates an opportunity for use of Monsanto’s Vistive Gold soybean oil in production of biosynthetic lubricant oils. Biosynthetic Technologies, in collaboration with USDA scientists, has developed a new class of bio-based synthetic oils that reportedly match or exceed the performance characteristics of the highest quality petroleum-based oils currently used in the automotive and industrial lubricant sectors.
Biosynthetic Technologies offers two product lines: LubriGreen Biosynthetic Oils used in the automotive and industrial lubricants sector, and Coco Estolide esters for products used in the personal care and cosmetics sectors. The company is in the final stages of fleet testing and certification of LubriGreen biosynthetic motor oils synthesized from high-oleic oils such as Vistive Gold. These LubriGreen base oils are also being used by several oil companies to formulate and commercialize bio-based, biosynthetic motor oils.
Vistive Gold soybeans were developed to improve soybean oil’s oxidative stability and reduced saturated fat. This oil provides benefits in both food and industrial applications that are not possible from commodity soybean oil. Under the terms of the arrangement, Monsanto has made an equity investment of $7 million in Biosynthetic Technologies. In addition to investments from BP Ventures and other investors, this recent investment should enable Biosynthetic Technologies to finalize construction of its pilot plant, facilitate continued product development, and support the commercial launch of its products.
The Vistive Gold trait, which farmers are trialing now in advance of an expected 2014 commercial launch, will be available in Monsanto’s Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans. The USDA deregulated the biotech trait in Vistive Gold soybeans in December 2011, completing the U.S. regulatory process and allowing field testing and seed production to take place within the United States. All field tests and seed production will be conducted under stewardship guidelines until Monsanto has obtained the necessary regulatory approvals in the key soybean export markets.