Technoeconomic evaluation of bio-based styrene production by engineered Escherichia coli

Joshua T. Claypool, D. Raj Raman, Laura R. Jarboe, David Nielsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Styrene is an important commodity chemical used in polymers and resins, and is typically produced from the petrochemical feedstocks benzene and ethylene. Styrene has recently been produced biosynthetically for the first time using engineered Escherichia coli, and this bio-based route may represent a lower energy and renewable alternative to petroleum-derived styrene. However, the economics of such an approach has not yet been investigated. Using an early-stage technoeconomic evaluation tool, a preliminary economic analysis of bio-based styrene from C6-sugar feedstock has been conducted. Owing to styrene's limited water solubility, it was assumed that the resulting fermentation broth would spontaneously form two immiscible liquid phases that could subsequently be decanted. Assuming current C6 sugar prices and industrially achievable biokinetic parameter values (e.g., product yield, specific growth rate), commercial-scale bio-based styrene has a minimum estimated selling price (MESP) of 1.90 USD kg-1 which is in the range of current styrene prices. A Monte Carlo analysis revealed a potentially large (0.45 USD kg-1) standard deviation in the MESP, while a sensitivity analysis showed feedstock price and overall yield as primary drivers of MESP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1211-1216
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology
Volume41
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2014

Keywords

  • Bio-based chemicals
  • Early-stage TEA
  • Escherichia coli
  • Styrene
  • Technoeconomic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

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