The Technology

The methodology

Following a screening process involving thousands of candidate organisms, the TMO methodology was applied to a wild type isolated from a compost heap and from a family of micro-organisms which are prevalent throughout nature.

A single-cell geobacillus bacterium had an innate ability to feed off and grow on a very wide range of carbohydrate substrates. In its wild form, it produced a substantial amount of lactic acid as a bi-product of the process, firstly of turning the carbohydrate or biomass into sugar and secondly, absorbing that sugar into the cell and growing.

This process is in many ways much like that observed in cells of the human body. By using the TMO toolkit the internal metabolism of the cell was both altered and controlled to eliminate the production of lactic acid. This gave the organism the opportunity to produce increased amounts of other organic acids, such as acetic acid, but more particularly is conferred the ability to produce ethanol.

Re-application of the toolkit to this intermediate organism resulted firstly in a further intermediate with a very substantially increased metabolic rate and then with Strain TM242 – a process organism with no propensity to make unwanted side products and capable of growing very quickly on a wide range of substrates, with the desirable bi-product of this growth being the production of ethanol.


The Process   Demonstration Unit