Proterro is the only biofeedstock company that makes sucrose instead of extracting it from crops or deconstructing cellulosic materials.

Using waste CO2, sunlight and water, Proterro lowers the cost of sugar production to around $0.05/lb., unleashing the economic value of biofuels and biobased chemicals for industry partners.

The company has functioning, highly productive, patented, sucrose-producing microorganisms and a patented, novel photobioreactor system, developed with engineered-inflatables specialist ILC Dover, the NASA spacesuit maker. Proterro's entire sugar-making process is patent protected.

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Key features of Proterro's patented photobioreactor are:

  • Collapsible low-cost polyethylene cylinder
  • Made from off-the-shelf materials
  • Naturally sheds rain and snow
  • Favorable aerodynamic shape for wind loading
  • Patented cyanobacteria grow on vertical fabric panels
  • Water and nutrients drain by gravity on panels
  • CO2-augmented air, or flue gas inflates cylinder
  • Natural low point for condensate drain
  • Can be UV stabilized
  • Withstands category 1 hurricane winds

Wind Test    Watch wind test video

Note: In May 2014 the USPTO issued to Proterro a patent protecting the photobioreactor.

Proterro's clean sucrose is NOT derived from cellulosic biomass. Cellulosic sugars depend on an agricultural set of steps that Proterro avoids; they are made first in a constructive process that overshoots by building biomass that has a low-sugar content and, then, in a destructive process that removes toxins and isolates the desired sugars. These factors contribute to the high-capital and unit costs of cellulosic sugar.

Proterro sucrose, however, is solely made in a constructive manner. A sucrose molecule is built based on its elements, using a naturally occurring photosynthetic process.