Biotech company White Dog Labs has received approval from the district court for Morrison County in Minnesota, US to acquire the Central Minnesota Renewables (CMR) biorefinery in Little Falls, Minnesota.

The plant, which originally produced 20 million gallons per year of ethanol, was upgraded in 2016 to produce bio-based butanol. It additionally has several production capabilities required to produce ProTyton, an alternative protein to fishmeal.

Commenting on the news, Bryan Tracy, CEO of White Dog Labs, said: “We are happy to announce this agreement and will work with local and state authorities to reopen the plant as quickly as possible.”

White Dog Labs recently announced an offtake agreement with Cargill for ProTyton, which is a critical ingredient in aquaculture. Comprised of 80% protein, ProTyton is sustainable and scalable, as it is made from corn. It is also affordable, as it shares production costs with its co-product, MiruTyton, which is a butyrate-rich fermentation soluble.

MiruTyton has been shown to substantially reduce prevalence of salmonella and campylobacter in challenged broilers, as well as improving feed conversion ratio and weight gain. White Dog Labs added that it is currently negotiating an offtake agreement for MiruTyton with a major feed-additive company.

Operation of the plant is to be supported by the management of Midwest Renewable Energy (MRE). “We have been collaborating with White Dog Labs for the past two years and are excited to support the conversion and ramp-up of their first plant,” said Jim Jandrain, chairman of MRE. “We are impressed with the simple ProTyton process and are looking forward for MRE to become the second ProTyton plant.”

The biorefinery features a CleanSugar™ production module made by FQPT. Membrane filtration will be provided by Graver Technologies, and the reengineering of the plant for ProTyton is being carried out by AdvanceBio.

“We are looking forward to working with our customers, partners and the authorities, to rehire most of the plant employees and start production,” added Tracy. “We hope to profitably do our part in sustainably enhancing and improving the world’s food supply.”

Source: Biofuels International