Calysta Receives SBIR Grant for Specialty Industrial Chemicals Research


1140 O’Brien Drive
Menlo Park, CA  94025

For Immediate Release

Calysta Receives SBIR Grant for Specialty Industrial Chemicals Research

Menlo Park, CA—January 15, 2013—Calysta Energy™ ( today announced it has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase 1 grant from the National Science Foundation. The grant supports development of a production platform for a new class of modified lipids (fats) with applications in a range of industrial products including plastics, detergents, and cosmetics. In particular, the research will focus on development of precursors for biobased biodegradable plastics which can serve as drop-in replacements for current petroleum-derived plastics.

“Industrial plastics, lubricants and related products are multi-billion dollar global markets, with applications in products ranging from building materials to cosmetics,” said Josh Silverman, Ph.D., Calysta Chief Scientific Officer. “Current technology cannot meet the market demand for performance characteristics and cost relative to traditional petroleum-based products. We are very pleased to receive this important support for creating new, efficient materials based on our advanced biotechnology platform.”

Calysta’s advanced synthetic biology capabilities enable the rapid development of biological routes to high value industrial chemicals. Plastics and similar materials represent a promising area for replacing traditional materials with biodegradable alternatives. However, current bioplastics have so far been unable to successfully compete with petroleum plastics outside of niche markets.

Calysta’s SBIR-sponsored research will focus on development of chemical components for a new class of biodegradable materials with improved properties and favorable economics compared to current bioplastics. The same components can also serve as building blocks for a variety of specialty chemicals including detergents, surfactants, lubricants, and adhesives with flexible properties that surpass petroleum-based alternatives.

About Calysta Energy 
Calysta Energy (, Menlo Park, CA., is developing a new biological gas-to-liquids™ (BioGTL™) technology using methane – an energy-rich component of natural gas – as a new biological feedstock for transportation fuels and high value industrial chemicals with cost and performance advantages over current processes. The company is a spinout of DNA2.0, the largest US-based provider of synthetic genes for industrial and academic use.

Lyn Christenson,, 650-492-6880, ex. 200, or
Calysta Energy Media Information,