The deinococcus bacteria can break down complex biomass residues into simpler sugars to convert them into ethanol without the use of additives such as enzymes, yeast or antibiotics.

Commenting on the development, DeinoveCEO Jacques Biton remarked that the company will now move into the pre-industrial phase of its Deinol project.

"Our results confirm the value of the DEINOVE technology for transforming biomass into biofuels and industrial products. DEINOVE’s teams and our partners are proud of this breakthrough.

"Deinococcus can degrade more than 80% of the plant biomass but can also potentially produce industrial quantities of bioethanol," said Biton.

The milestone will secure the company a $1.5m payout from the French Ministry of Industry from its industrial strategic innovation initiative.