Beast Mode Yeast Load: Novozyme’s new Innova Apex, Turbo are ethanol yield monsters

July 31, 2022 |

News has emerged in the sector which should be known as Medieval Combat and yet is politely described as yeast fermentation that Novozymes’ new Innova Apex and Innova Turbo have arrived on the Innova yeast platform. They are companions to Innova Quantum. Usually, advances in yeast are told in terms of yield, but here’s an added twist — this story is robustness and cost, too. Apex delivers up to 2% more ethanol and exceptional robustness to stressors while Turbo’s novel metabolism and stress management in high throughput plants increases ethanol yield by 1.5-2%.

One is for long, two is for short

Innova Apex is designed for corn ethanol fermentations that run between 52 and 65 hours, while Innova Turbo is designed for fermentations times of 52 hours or less. 

The epic combat of fermentation

Yeast fermentation is on such a microbial scale and taking place under the lid of a fermentation vessel, you might think for a moment that yeast live in a placid world, and munch their sugars and produce ethanol like contented cows chewing cud and ruminating.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Yeast lives in a world that makes Mixed Martial Art’s cage fighting look like a Sunday church picnic — it’s a hostile hell of combat, stress, heat and hunger and the yeast that thrive work in what Seattle Seahawks star Marshawn Lynch used to call Beast Mode, so we’ll call it Yeast Mode. It is organized violence as the organisms compete with each other in a Libertarian Paradise where there are no rules except survival of the fittest in the Inferno. This is not place for effete lab creatures with exotic qualities and strange abilities that run at the first sign of trouble. Yeast fermentation is siege warfare and weak strains, no matter their potential, fail in their fermentation and quickly perish from the earth.

The Innova Apex story

Not long ago, we highlighted the arrival of Innova Force as the new King — you can pretty much kiss goodbye to that reign based on the benchmarks we’re hearing about. The King is dead, long live the King. Compared to the Innova Force, Innova Apex improves ethanol yield by 2% for even more profitability and improved DDGS quality. Also, there’s a slashing of costs for urea and fermentation aids — overall, our Novo friends predict up to $1.8 million in added profits.  Those fermentation aids alone can cost a producer up to yeast fermentation aids, which can cost plants up to $300,000 per year. 

Innova Apex allows ethanol production facilities to push their plants to up to 36% dry solids and reduce glycerol by up to 38%. The advanced yeast solution consistently delivers reliability and production KPIs under the most difficult process conditions, including temperature spikes up to 101º F. This advanced yeast solution can power through common bacterial infections by tolerating up to 0.6% lactic acid and 0.4% acetic acid.

The Innova Turbo story

Here are the data highlights. Innova Turbo offers 1-3% throughput yield gains, 1.5%-2% more ethanol yield in fast fermentations, consistently ferments high solids of more than 35% and is robust to high ethanol concentrations of more than 16%. Sneak bonus: Ethanol production plants using Innova Turbo during fermentation reduced acetaldehyde off-gas.

This advanced yeast solution powers through tough operating conditions and compounding stressors such as high fermentation temperature excursions plus organic acids from bacterial infections with thermotolerance up to 101o F and up to 0.8% lactic acid and 0.4% acetic acid.

Fast kinetics in Innova Turbo help reduce glycerol up to 20% without risk to a facility’s fermentation reliability and consistency. 

The Innova platform

For some time, yeast fermentation and enzymes have been described using the metaphor of a cocktail — these days, think in terms of the ballet and explosiveness of an artillery barrage. “Cocktail” sounds a little like a Noel Coward play, as if fermentation is a garden party and someone is serving martinis. We need something that feels a little more like the assault on Iwo Jima, yet as coordinated and synchronized as high-speed trains. 

Innova Apex and Turbo join Innova Quantum, released last October which of course in microbial development feels like the late Neolithic. So, to restate Quantum’s focus, it’s an advanced yeast solution specifically developed for fermentation times of more than 65 hours and delivers 2-3% more ethanol yield with exceptional robustness. 

And, there’s more than Innova Yeast — there are Innova enzymes too — more on those here.

Reaction from the stakeholders

“Since the launch of our Innova platform in 2018, Innova yeasts have become the most sought-after fermentation solution in the industry,” says Rene Garza, Novozymes Region President, NA and VP, Agriculture & Industrial Biosolutions. “Innova Apex and Innova Turbo are the next generation strain technologies to help our ethanol customers continually improve their operations. Innova Apex and Innova Turbo individually provide the most unique and trusted performance, redefining fermentation opportunities in their operational segments. Each unleashes fermentation performance unlike any yeast in the market.”

More on the story

Read all about it here.

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