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Royal Dutch Shell Plc Codexis Statement 10 March 2009


Shell and Codexis deepen collaboration to speed arrival of next generation biofuel 

Royal Dutch Shell plc and Codexis, Inc. today announced an expanded agreement to develop better enzymes that could accelerate commercialisation of next generation biofuels. Shell also increased its equity stake in Codexis and will take an additional seat on the company’s board.

As part of the agreement, Codexis will work closely with Shell and Iogen Energy Corporation to enhance the efficiency of enzymes used in the Iogen cellulosic ethanol production process.  The world-leading Iogen demonstration plant in Ottawa, Canada currently produces hundreds of thousands of litres of cellulosic ethanol from agricultural residue, such as wheat straw. 

The research programme with Codexis aims to enhance the Iogen process and shorten the timeline to its full-scale commercial deployment.  Iogen’s technology uses enzymes to break down the cellulose in agricultural fibre and convert it to sugars, which are then fermented and distilled into ethanol.

The new Shell-Codexis deal also continues the collaboration announced in November 2007 to investigate other biofuels, researching new enzymes to convert biomass directly into components similar to gasoline and diesel.  Codexis will expand research at a centre in the US and at a new centre in Budapest, Hungary.

“The expert Codexis team will make a real difference in the race toward full-scale commercial production of biofuel from non-food sources,” said Graeme Sweeney, Shell Executive Vice President, Future Fuels and CO2. “Better enzymes will improve efficiency and help lower costs.”   

“In just over two years, our biofuels collaboration with Shell has grown from a pilot project to a significant multifaceted programme to create commercial-scale biofuels from non-food sources,” said Alan Shaw, Ph.D, Codexis President and CEO.  “Codexis has complemented its advanced directed evolution platform with world class technologies ranging from systems biology to large scale enzyme production.  We are very pleased to attract such significant private equity investment.”

Royal Dutch Shell plc is incorporated in England and Wales, has its headquarters in The Hague and is listed on the London, Amsterdam, and New York stock exchanges. Shell companies have operations in more than 110 countries with businesses including oil and gas exploration and production; production and marketing of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and Gas to Liquids (GtL); manufacturing, marketing and shipping of oil products and chemicals; and renewable energy projects including wind and solar power. For further information,

Codexis, Inc. is a clean technology company.  The company develops industrial biocatalysts, including enzymes and microbes.  Codexis technology is used in the energy industry to enable next generation non-food biofuels and by global pharmaceutical companies for cost-effective manufacturing of human therapeutics.  Future commercial applications include carbon management, water treatment and chemical manufacturing.   For more information, please visit

Shell International Media Office
The Hague, Netherlands
Kirsten Smart/Shaun Wiggins
+31 70 377 3600 
+31 611 880 189 (mobile)

Shell Media Office
Houston, US
Jill Davis/Alexandra Smith
+1 713 241 4544   

Lyn Christenson, Codexis
California, US
+1 650 421 8144
[email protected]

Jim Duffy (for Codexis)
New York, US
+1 201 964 2409
[email protected]

Notes to editors

  • Royal Dutch Shell plc is working to meet government mandates for biofuel and, with its experience, expertise and assets, has become the world’s largest distributor of biofuels. The company is working with biofuel manufacturers to secure cost-effective supply and press for social and environmental safeguards.
  • Shell is a leader in the development of next generation biofuels, using non-food bio materials, alternative processes and high performance fuels.  Shell’s global biofuels programme includes involvement with Iogen, Choren, Codexis, Virent and Cellana, as well as a number of academic institutions globally. and its also non-profit sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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