Novozymes: Biofuels Digest’s 5-Minute Guide

October 15, 2012 |

Company description:

Novozymes is the world leader in bioinnovation. Together with customers across a broad array of industries we create tomorrow’s industrial biosolutions, improving our customers’ business, and the use of our planet’s resources.

With over 700 products used in 130 countries, Novozymes’ bioinnovations improve industrial performance and safeguard the world’s resources by offering superior and sustainable solutions for tomorrow’s ever-changing marketplace. In 2010, Novozymes’ products globally reduced CO2 emissions by 40 million tons.

Novozymes offers the leading technology platform for biofuel production; we are the leading enzyme provider for ethanol enzymes in all regions where we operate.


Krogshoejvej 36

2880 Bagsvaerd


Year founded

2000 (Prior to 2000, a division within Novo Nordisk)

Annual Revenues:

1st half 2011: DKK 5,229 million (~USD 0.95 billion)

2010: DKK 9,724 million (~USD 1.77 billion)

2009: DKK 8,448 million (~USD 1.65 billion)

Company description:

Novozymes is the world leader in bioinnovation. Our business is industrial enzymes, microorganisms, and biopharmaceutical ingredients. Our biological solutions help companies make more from less, as our solutions save energy and raw materials, and reduce waste. The result is higher quality, lower costs, lower CO2 emissions, and a better environment.

Novozymes is organized into two business areas, each covering a number of industries: Enzyme Business and BioBusiness. The development, production, distribution, and sale of enzymes form the major part of our business, currently accounting for 94% of sales.  BioBusiness, accounting for the remaining 6%, is home to both a smaller, established business in microorganisms and biopharmaceutical ingredients and a portfolio of initiatives where Novozymes is exploring business opportunities outside the enzyme sphere.


We use biotechnology to discover new sustainable solutions. More than 16% of Novozymes’ global workforce of 5,432 works on innovation and development, and we invest around 14% of our sales in research and development.


Our solutions are based on a unique technology platform that provides a wealth of opportunities for the world’s industries. Gene technology, microbiology, and fermentation technology are some of the tools on which we base our business. Combining industrial insight with this technology platform, we partner with customers across a broad range of industries to create tomorrow’s industrial biosolutions that not only improve the use of our planet’s resources but also our customers’ business. We currently hold more than 6,500 granted or pending patents, which is an indication of the possibilities that emerge when nature and technology join forces.

Sustainability is an integral part of our business, and we enable our customers to optimize their use of raw materials and energy, thereby reducing the environmental impact of their operations. In 2010 alone, the worldwide application of our products enabled reductions in CO2 emissions of approximately 40 million tons.


We believe in decency and responsibility in business, which includes respect for all stakeholders. Our commitments to international agreements and universal values help define issues and challenges of relevance to our stakeholders and our business:


•       We subscribe to the United Nations Global Compact

•       We support the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights

•       We support the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity

•       We subscribe to the International Chamber of Commerce’s Charter for Sustainable Development


Major Investors (if a public company, please provide trading symbol and exchange).

Novozymes A/S has two share classes: A shares and B shares. The B shares are listed on NASDAQ OMX Copenhagen under ticker code NZYM B and ID code/ISIN DK0010272129.


The A common stock is held by Novo A/S, which is wholly owned by the Novo Nordisk Foundation. In addition, Novo A/S holds 5,826,280 B shares (11%). Altogether this gives Novo A/S 25.5% of the total common stock and 70.1% of the votes.


As of June 2011, Novozymes had roughly 50,000 holders of the B shares, of which around 98% were private investors, mainly in Denmark. Institutional shareholders owned roughly two thirds of the B common stock, and about 60% of the B common stock is held outside Denmark.


Type of Technology(ies)

Novozymes’ core technology for the biofuels industry is enzymes that break down different types of feedstock into fermentable sugars for conversion into ethanol.  Within this area, Novozymes develops solutions for two distinct types of ethanol technology: cellulosic ethanol and starch-based ethanol.


Novozymes cellulosic ethanol work is the largest endeavor the company has ever undertaken, with over 150 scientists dedicated to the effort.  Not only is Novozymes’ developing and offering the leading enzyme solutions for cellulosic ethanol technology, but we have also expanded our research focus into optimizing the pretreatment, hydrolysis and fermentation process steps.


In 2010 Novozymes launched the first commercially viable enzyme for the cellulosic ethanol industry, Cellic® Ctec2.  The 1.8X average performance improvement over a variety of feedstocks is enabling our partners to reach a commercially viable enzyme cost window and overall production costs.  We have also worked with many of our partners to help optimize their process technology in order to lower enzyme use cost and find the right balance in process tradeoffs to lower capital and operating costs.


As the world leader in bioinnovation, Novozymes produces enzymes that optimize the conversion of grains such as corn, barley, wheat and other starch raw materials into ethanol. Unrivalled in their performance and ease of use, our enzymes enable higher yields, faster throughput and lower processing costs. Our tailored solutions – including custom enzyme blends – match the specific needs of our customers’ processes for liquefaction, saccharification, fermentation enhancement, and viscosity reduction.



Novozymes’ enzyme solutions provide robust performance on a wide variety of feedstocks. Cellulosic ethanol employs biomass feedstocks such as corn stover, wheat straw, sugarcane bagasse, woody residues, switchgrass, etc. For starch-based ethanol, the primary feedstocks are corn, barley, wheat, sugarcane, etc.



Our enzyme solutions breakdown feedstock, such as corn and lignocellulosic material into sugars that can be used to produce: ethanol, biobutanol, renewable jet fuel, organic acids, biochemicals and bioplastics.  These enzyme solutions include the following product families: Liquozyme, Spirizyme, Viscozyme, Provia and Cellic


Product Cost :

Companies with the most advanced process technologies are reaching $0.50/ gallon ethanol produced enzyme use costs with our product, Cellic CTec2.


For starch based ethanol, most customers are achieving a $0.02-$0.04/gallon ethanol produced enzyme use cost.


Offtake partners

Some of our partners in cellulosic ethanol include: POET, ICM, GreenField Ethanol, Fiberight, Lignol, CTC, Petrobras, Inbicon, M&G, COFCO and Sinopec


Past Milestones

1) In 2010, Novozymes launched Cellic CTec2, the first commercially viable enzyme for cellulosic ethanol production. A follow-up to our original Cellic CTec enzyme, CTec2 provides more than twice the performance of the original, driving the enzyme use cost down to as low as $.50 per gallon of ethanol produced.


2) Also in 2010, Novozymes launched Spirizyme® Excel, an advanced saccharification solution that makes it possible to produce more ethanol from the same amount of corn. Spirizyme Excel converts the most difficult starch fractions, allowing producers to increase yields by more than one percent.  Compared to other solutions, a typical ethanol plant can gain $1 million or more per year using the enzyme.


3) 2009 – Novozymes launched Cellic CTec, our first commercially available enzyme that helped enable the transition from pilot to demo scale for our cellulosic ethanol partners


Future Milestones

1) Deliver higher-performing cellulosic enzyme solutions to help ethanol plants make cellulosic ethanol cost competitive with starch based ethanol production; working with our partners in demonstrating their cellulosic ethanol technology is commercially viable.


2) Deliver the first million gallons of commercially-viable cellulosic ethanol to the world through our enzyme development and partnership efforts.


3) Start-up of Blair, Nebraska enzyme production facility to deliver enzymes to the US biofuels industry


Business Model:

Novozymes supplies enzymes to the bioethanol production industry and is the global market leader. We provide the ethanol industry with the best use cost via higher performing enzymes that deliver greater yields and efficiencies to our customers’ operations as well outstanding customer service optimizing plants efficiencies. Novozymes spends more than 14 percent of our annual revenue on research and development of new innovative solutions for our customers and the industry.


For cellulosic ethanol, we have forged partnerships with the leading technology developers in the industry in order to help enable commercialization.  We are well positioned to continue our legacy of being the leading enzyme supplier to this industry through our unmatched product performance and customer value offering.

Competitive Edge(s):

Novozymes has been the leader in starch based ethanol since the industry has taken off and we are positioned to the do the same for cellulosic based ethanol.  We accomplish this through our commitment to R&D and always providing the highest performing enzymes coupled with the industry’s best technical services team.  This winning combination enables our customers to have peace of mind that their plants are running optimally.

Research, or Manufacturing Partnerships or Alliances.

Novozymes is the market leader in all segments and partners with many of the industry leaders, such as POET, M&G, GreenField, ICM, Inbicon, COFCO, Sinopec, and Ceres to optimize their technology for ethanol production.


Stage  (Bench, pilot, demonstration, commercial)

For starch based ethanol, we are the industry leader in supplying the commercial scale bioethanol plants with enzymes.  In cellulosic ethanol, we partner and supply our enzymes to several of the industry leaders who are currently at pilot and demo scale.  One partner recently broke ground on the first large scale cellulosic plant, which is M&G/Chemtex.  This plant is expected to be operational in 2012.


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