Novozymes Works Toward Economically Viable Cellulosic Ethanol

Novozymes introduced a five-step strategy to achieve economically viable cellulosic ethanol at the 4th Annual World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioprocessing in Orlando, Florida. Novozymes is engaged in applying advanced enzyme technology to the production of fuel from grain and cellulosic feedstock.

“Cellulosic ethanol fuel is poised to create a multidimensional positive impact on the world’s economy, resources, environment and political situation,” said Per Falholt, Novozymes chief scientific officer (CSO). “Novozymes’ five-step strategy is designed to foster not only the scientific progress of cellulosic ethanol, but also the commercial viability of this critical energy source.” The strategy includes Continued funding of research and development (specifically in the areas of biomass conversion and the development of a commercial process technology); Establishment of flexible configuration testing and development centers, geographically distributed to address multiple types of biomass feedstock and integrate processes (pretreatment, hydrolysis and fermentation); Scientific advancement to increase cost efficiency by improving underlying agricultural practices (collection and harvest of biomass) and pre-treatment methods; Scientific advancement in biotechnology (including enzyme technology, metabolic engineering and novel separation methods); Continued bi-partisan support of a national infrastructure to support practical implementation (including funding, incentives and tax credits). Falholt said that the path is clear and confirmed this journey toward economical viability could last four to five years: “Novozymes’ research demonstrates that if all Americans drove just 20 miles a day on E10 fuel, annual carbon dioxide emissions would be reduced by approximately 16 million tons — and that’s just the first step.” “To make daily use of cellulosic ethanol not only a possibility but an economic and practical reality, all parties need to contribute to a common vision,” he added.
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