The procedure, jointly developed with RITE in Kyoto, is based on a two-step process with metabolically engineered Corynebacterium glutamicum strains which transform hexoses and pentoses into 4-hydroxy benzoate (4-HBA) which is transformed, in a separate bioprocess using resting cells, into phenol. The project is done under a NEDO contract and has reached pilot plant scale. Start of production is aimed at for 2018.

Nikkei Biotech news release, Oct. 16, 2015