Bioreactor Designs for Rapid Fermentation

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Menlo Park, California
Project Term:
01/06/2014 - 01/05/2015

Technology Description:

Calysta Energy will develop a new bioreactor technology to enable the efficient biological conversion of methane into liquid fuels. While reasonably efficient, Gas-to-liquid (GTL) conversion is difficult to accomplish without costly and complex infrastructure. Biocatalysts are anticipated to reduce the cost of GTL conversion. Calysta will address this by using computational fluid dynamics to model best existing high mass transfer bioreactor designs and overcome existing limitations. Calysta will make the newly developed technology available to the broader research community, which could help other research groups to quickly test and commercialize their methane conversion processes.

Potential Impact:

If successful, Calysta’s technology will enable low-cost conversion of natural gas at sources that are often difficult to access, by increasing the productivity of bioreactor systems.


An improved bioconversion process could create cost-competitive liquid fuels significantly reducing demand for foreign oil.


This technology would allow for utilization of small-scale remote natural gas resources or methane and carbon rich gas residues for fuel production reducing harmful emissions associated with conventional fuel technologies.


Expanding U.S. natural gas resources via bioconversion to liquid fuels could contribute tens of billions of dollars to the nation's economy while reducing or stabilizing transport fuel prices.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Eric Rohlfing
Project Contact:
Dr. Luan Nguyen
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


Celanese Corp.

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