Circularizing Industries by Raising Carbon Efficiency

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Somerville, Massachusetts
Project Term:
09/29/2022 - 09/28/2024

Technology Description:

Circe Bioscience is building a carbon-efficient precision fermentation platform to produce energy-rich long-chain carbon chemicals with applications in several industrial sectors including fuels, materials, and food. The Circe system has a high degree of feedstock flexibility allowing it to take advantage of the legacy bioeconomy for cheap sugar supply and of a growing green energy infrastructure for external reducing equivalents to achieve high carbon efficiency. Circe uses proprietary technology to engineer fatty acid metabolism for production of reduced carbon compounds that can be used as fuel precursors, materials or food ingredients. This allows Circe to build a road map for transitioning to a carbon-efficient bioeconomy and increasing sustainability of currently high emitting industrial sectors.

Potential Impact:

The application of biology to build a carbon-efficient, enhanced bioeconomy by taking advantage of the growing renewable energy infrastructure provides economic, environmental, social, and national security benefits and offers a promising means of carbon management.


If successful, Circe Bioscience’s technologies are expected to catalyze new conversion platforms for biofuels, materials and food ingredients which promotes U.S. energy and food security by increasing recoverable product from the same mass of feedstock through the avoidance of wasting carbon in the form of CO2.


This program funds cutting-edge technologies to de-risk the engineering of carbon optimized bioconversion pathways capable of generating valuable bioproducts without emission of CO2 as a waste product.


The technologies funded by this program can increase the potential bioproduct output by more than 40% without requiring another square inch of land, ounce of fresh water or pound of feedstock, while catalyzing the next generation of carbon optimized bio-based manufacturing.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Steven Singer
Project Contact:
Shannon Nangle
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