Background: Succinate is presently manufactured in an expensive process from petrochemicals. Though researchers have previously managed to produce succinate using metabolic pathways none of these methods have approached the product yield of nonrenewable sources. As a result petroleum-based production methods – dependent upon fluctuations in oil prices - have dominated the market. Technology Description: This invention is a process that takes advantage of metabolic pathways in Escherichia coli to produce succinate in a renewable environmentally-friendly and efficient manner. Using sucrose as a carbon source E. coli has been genetically altered to produce succinate anaerobically at 96% of the theoretical maximum yield and aerobically at 90% of the theoretical maximum yield. Applications: 1) Succinate is presently used as an acid stabilizer in pharmaceuticals and a flavor additive in food as well in the production of other industrial chemicals used in plastics fuel additives and paints. 2) There is potential to expand products to include biodegradable polymers for use in bags packaging films and food containers.
1) Sucrose-based production operates independently of fluctuating oil prices 2) Method produces high yields with few byproducts 3) Method is environmentally friendly compared to current petrochemical-based production