Novozymes’ new ethanol enzyme tech saves up to 5% corn, 8% energy

June 11, 2013 |

“High yield, low risk” notes Novozymes

Avantec was introduced in October 2012, and has been well received in the U.S. ethanol industry according to Novozymes.

“Our customers demand risk-free options that do not require major investments,” says Andrew Fordyce. “That is exactly what our enzymes offer. We are the first to market this full package and are looking forward to implementing it together with our customers, trialing the technology at their plants, and getting the solutions out there. It’s a competitive industry and only via innovation like this can Novozymes continue to be the leading supplier of enzymes to the ethanol industry”.

Corn is the key raw material in biofuel production in the U.S. and by far the biggest cost component for an ethanol plant. After the corn is harvested, the kernels are ground into corn meal and water added to make a mash. Enzymes convert the starch in the mash to sugar, which can then be fermented to ethanol. Avantec and Spirizyme Achieve convert starch to sugar more efficiently than any other enzyme product on the market, while Olexa works by freeing up oil bound in the corn germ.

Corn oil is used in the production of animal feed, biodiesel and soaps, and has become an increasingly important revenue stream for ethanol producers. Extensive implementation of extraction technology from 2008 to 2012 has seen the industry record a nearly five-fold increase in corn oil production, according to a study by the University of Illinois at Chicago. Novozymes estimates that approximately 80% of the operating ethanol capacity in the U.S. will have incorporated oil extraction into their plants by end 2013.

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