The global demand for natural and synthetic rubber is estimated to be 30 million metric tons annually. One of the building blocks for synthetic rubber is isoprene, which is chemically identical to the principle component of tree saps used to produce natural rubber. THL has developed through metabolic and pathway engineering a microorganism capable of producing isopentenol from agricultural waste derived sugars at high titer. This innovation coupled with novel heterogeneous catalysis has allowed for the direct production of isoprene from agricultural waste. This “green” rubber is more environmentally friendly than natural or synthetic rubber and is paving the way for more responsible manufacturing practices.

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