August 14, 2013


Donald Danforth Plant Science Center Announces Major Expansion 

The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center has announced plans to build a new $45 million addition to its research facility. The new building, slated to open in fall of 2015, will give the Center the capacity to house more than 100 additional researchers. The three-story addition will include flexible research laboratories with state-of-the-art equipment as well as core facilities and additional growth chamber space. The Center plans to break ground in early 2014.


An important event, which prompted the Center's Board of Trustees to give the new facility project the go-ahead, was the award of $4.5 million in Contribution Tax Credits from the Missouri Development Finance Board (MDFB).  The Center partnered with the St. Louis County Economic Council during the application for tax credits.


The design of the new research facility is underway through collaboration between two architectural firms, Christner Inc. and Flad Architects.  To assist the design team in cost estimating and issues of constructability, McCarthy Construction Company has been selected to provide pre-construction services. Landmark Contract Management Inc. has been serving as project manager. 


For more information on the expansion and to view renderings, click here.

 Akermin's Pilot Plant Completes 1,600 Hours of Operation Capturing CO2 From a Coal-Fired Power Plant  

Akermin, Inc., who is developing novel biocatalytic solutions for efficient removal of carbon dioxide (CO2) from industrial gas streams, announced that its field pilot plant has achieved a significant milestone by completing over 1,600 hours of operation, capturing CO2 from the flue gas exhaust of a coal-fired power plant.  


"These results validate our technology and our approach and support scale-up and demonstration across multiple markets" said Barry Blackwell, President and CEO. "We are excited to achieve such excellent results with our initial field pilot test. This achievement is a testament to the hard work of the entire Akermin team. We would also like to acknowledge the unwavering support of the US Department of Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory (DOE-NETL), and our project partners and suppliers, including: Novozymes, EPIC Systems, the National Carbon Capture Center (NCCC), Battelle and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). After several weeks of continuous operation, this marks the longest and largest demonstration of an enzyme-catalyzed process for CO2 capture."


Since Akermin initiated operation of the pilot plant with its Biocatalyst Delivery System in May of this year, the unit has consistently captured over 80% CO2 from the flue gas exhaust. 


Read more here.  

Join us September 9-11, 2013  in St. Louis  


Now in its fifth year, the Ag Innovation Showcase has solidified itself as the premier event where Ag capital providers and corporate strategics connect. The showcase facilitates dialog and deal-flow between Ag industry leaders, emerging innovators and investors in ag-bio, renewable energy, sustainable materials, food production, animal health and farming technologies.


The 3-day agenda will enable participants to:

  • Establish new collaborative business ventures and partnership opportunities by connecting with top Ag investors and corporate executives.
  • Unearth emerging Ag companies pushing the boundaries of innovation in search of solutions to the most pressing issues of our industry.
  • Delve into influential discussions around new industry ideas and trends through insightful panels, distinguished keynote speakers, and engaging presentations.

The Ag Innovation Showcase is a joint effort of BRDG Park, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and Larta Institute.


Register here and save 15% through August 16th.  




Biofuels Digest

Akermin announced its carbon capture system had been operating successfully for more than three months. It captures carbon dioxide (CO2) from flue gas, the exhaust of a coal-fired power plant. MORE.


Bioglow LLC
The New York Times
Alexander Krichevsky, Research Director at Bioglow, has led research to commercialize glowing plants, starting with ornamental ones, since it is still impractical to replace light bulbs. MORE.


St. Louis Business Journal

A newly discovered gene in the oil palm plant, found by scientists at St. Louis-based Orion Genomics, should mean a higher yield in oil from each plant.Orion's main partner is St. Louis-based MoGene. MORE.


The Deming Headlight
 The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded a $5 million grant to improve algae-based fuel that is compatible with existing refineries to a multi-institutional team including Phycal. MORE.

Nidus Partners
St. Louis Business Journal  Nidus Partners' portfolio company, Electrochaea LLC, has received two grants worth some $500,000 to develop its energy-to-gas technology. MORE.


Allied Blending & Ingredients
Today in America
Allied Blending & Ingredients, Inc. began as a small and simple food-ingredients distributor, the company has evolved into a multi-dimensional manufacturing enterprise that deals in proprietary, value-added food blends and a diverse range of functional products that specialty food manufacturers have depended on for over 30 years. MORE.


St. Louis Community College
Over the past few years, biotechnology education programs at community colleges have developed several types of innovative contract service operations that serve their local business communities. MORE.


Donald Danforth Plant  Science Center