A nitrogenase-like enzyme system that catalyzes methionine, ethylene, and methane biogenesis

The Need

In industrial settings, the demand for safe and efficient methods of producing ethylene, ethane, and methane is paramount. Existing ethylene production processes often involve oxygen-dependent enzymes, resulting in a flammable ethylene-oxygen gas mixture. Moreover, methane and ethane, when mixed with air, pose explosive and flammable risks. To address these safety concerns and enhance sustainability, there is a clear need for a microbial solution that can produce these crucial industrial precursors in the absence of oxygen.

The Technology

Our groundbreaking technology harnesses the power of nitrogenase-like enzymes, specifically the methylthio-alkane reductase complex (MarBHDK), within non-naturally occurring microbial organisms. These engineered organisms integrate genes from the methionine salvage pathway, ensuring optimized and anaerobic production of ethylene, ethane, and methane. The method involves culturing these organisms in a carbon source-rich medium and subsequently recovering the produced gases. A dedicated bioreactor and vector system further enhance the scalability and applicability of this innovative technology.

Commercial Applications

  • Industrial Gas Production: Enables safe and efficient production of ethylene, ethane, and methane without the need for oxygen-dependent processes.

  • Bioremediation: Offers a sustainable approach to manage sulfur-containing byproducts, contributing to environmental remediation efforts.

  • Renewable Energy: Provides a microbial solution for generating methane, a valuable renewable energy source.


  • Safety: Eliminates the risk associated with flammable gas mixtures by operating in an oxygen-free environment.

  • Sustainability: Reduces dependence on traditional, energy-intensive ethylene production methods, contributing to a more sustainable industrial landscape.

  • Versatility: The technology's adaptability allows for the production of multiple industrial gases, catering to diverse market needs.

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