Clostridial on purpose acetone (COPA)

Lead Participant: Green Biologics Limited


There is large global demand for acetone for use as a solvent and in production of important chemicals and materials including transparent plastics such as methyl methacrylate (MMA). Acetone is currently produced by reacting petro-chemicals propylene and benzene, hence its price is volatile and the process is unsustainable. GBL are experts in clostridial (non-pathogenic) fermentation for production of the solvent n-butanol, which generates some acetone as a co-product. We (GBL and MMA-producer Lucite) undertook an InnovateUK business study to investigate potential for a process making solely acetone, and determined that this would be economically and technologically feasible. We want to use our expertise in clostridial biology to develop a strain of clostridia having high yield of acetone, necessary for the commercial process. Lucite will explore matters relating to use of bio-acetone for bio-MMA production.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Green Biologics Limited, ABINGDON £204,160 £ 153,120


Mitsubishi Chemical UK Limited, Redcar £21,146 £ 13,745


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