USPTO Issues Notice of Allowance to Biofeedstock Company Proterro For Device Patent Protecting Proterro’s Photobioreactor
EWING, NJ--Feb. 19, 2014: The United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued a notice of allowance to Proterro, Inc., for a device patent that protects the company’s proprietary photobioreactor, a novel element in Proterro’s already-patented sugar-making process (U.S. Patent No. 8,597,914).
“could be used as produced or concentrated and/or purified to a grade appropriate to its application.”
Proterro’s unique photobioreactor is robust, modular and made from off-the-shelf materials. It provides for the growth of Proterro’s also patent-protected, sugar-producing transgenic cyanobacteria (U.S. Patent No. 8,367,379) and the harvest of a fermentation-ready sucrose stream.
Specifically, based on U.S. Patent Application 13/737,201, allowed device claims describe a photobioreactor for cultivating Proterro’s unique cyanobacteria or other photosynthetic microorganism, explained Proterro CEO Kef Kasdin.
“The claims describe a photobioreactor that includes a non-horizontal, solid cultivation support and a physical barrier over the cultivation support,” she said. “They also describe integration of systems for optimizing light, water supply and sugar collection.”
Proterro Pilot Plant Commissioned
Noting that Proterro has commissioned a pilot plant in Orlando, Fla., where sugar production has begun on a small scale, Kasdin said that, ultimately, Proterro’s sugar “could be used as produced or concentrated and/or purified to a grade appropriate to its application.”
Proterro is the only biofeedstock company that makes sucrose instead of extracting it from crops or deconstructing cellulosic materials. Using CO2, sunlight and water, Proterro has developed a patented sugar-making process that yields a fermentation-ready sucrose stream, removing the price volatility that comes with crop-based feedstocks and eliminating the complex and costly steps required to produce cellulosic sugars derived from biomass. Besides having commissioned a pilot plant, the company has completed a preliminary design, layout and associated cost estimate for a demonstration-scale plant. Proterro is leveraging its core intellectual property to create a 70+ patent portfolio. Backed by Battelle Ventures, Braemar Energy Ventures, Cultivian Ventures and Middleland Capital, Proterro has been recognized by Lux Research as a top innovative company that stands out for its “disruptive potential.” Biofuels Digest named Proterro CEO Kef Kasdin among the top 100 people in the bioeconomy for 2013-14.