At Total, we are investing in future energies and notably biotechnologies. In August 2014, we acquired a 100% stake in Novogy, a U.S.-based startup that modifies oleaginous yeasts to enhance yield and generate molecules of interest for fuels, lubricants and specialty chemical products.
From biotechnology to industry
Novogy modifies oleaginous, or oil-producing, yeasts to boost yield and productivity to create a cost-competitive solution. The company uses raw materials adapted for use on an industrial scale at every step of the process, starting with the first phases of lab work.
Novogy focuses its research efforts on Yarrowia Lipolytica yeast, which naturally produces large quantities of oil. The end goal is to produce different types of oils to meet our lubricants and specialty chemicals needs. Our catalyst and fermentation technologies are compatible with corn, cane sugar and carbon sugars derived from lignocellulosic biomass (wood, straw, etc.).
The BioLab is a technology platform located in Lyon, France, that brings together skills in modeling, synthetic chemistry and biotechnology processes. A laboratory in its own right, it is helping us identify the biomolecules of tomorrow and the best ways to produce them. The BioLab features new equipment such as photobioreactors for algae and fermenters, allowing us to test a whole host of microorganisms.