Novozymes has concluded a development agreement with CTC, the Brazilian sugar cane industry’s technical center. Under this agreement Novozymes will contribute enzyme technology for developing bioethanol from bagasse.
The agreement with CTC (Centro de Tecnologia Canavieira) is a research collaboration with a view to developing bioethanol from bagasse – a residual product of sugar production from sugar cane. The development work will take place in a close collaboration between CTC and Novozymes in Brazil, aided by Novozymes’ R&D centers in the US and Denmark. This future process will enable higher ethanol yield in the production process from sugar cane and will thereby optimize the process economy and energy balance and will also reduce the land use and emission of green house gases further.
”We are really looking forward to the co-operation with CTC, being an important player in the Brazilian biofuels sector," says Novozymes’ CEO, Steen Riisgaard. "The research agreement is part of our efforts to identify economically profitable processes within the development of biofuels from plant waste and other biomass, and although it will be a few years before we know the extent to which the co-operation can be commercialized, we see considerable potential."
As early as the 1970s Brazil was the first country in the world to begin using bioethanol on a large scale, and today it is the world’s largest producer of biofuel. In contrast to Europe, the US, and China, where bioethanol is predominantly produced from starch-containing crops such as corn and wheat, Brazil’s production is mainly based on sugar cane. Almost 40% of Brazil’s gasoline consumption is now covered by bioethanol, and the country also exports a large proportion of its production.
Novozymes is a world leading biotechnology company with state-of-the-art expertise in enzymes, microbiology, biotechnology and gene technology. Using nature's own technologies, they continuously expand the frontiers of biological solutions to improve industrial performance in all areas. They spend 11-13% of sales on research & development and 15% of their employees work in R&D.
Successful completion of this project will mean that Brazil's production of ethanol could increase substantially over time from existing plantings of sugar cane, making them an even bigger player in the ethanol market. The U.S. is doing the same sort of research for corn stover. Novozymes is working with Broin on a corn stover enzyme. The two projects could be very complimentary.