The production of bioethanol for fuel has increased in recent years, creating rapid growth for Novozymes. For society, biofuels create both opportunities and challenges, and we take these issues seriously.
In 2007, sales of enzymes to the bioethanol industry comprised 13% of Novozymes’ total enzyme sales. Enzymes for bioethanol is our fastest-growing product area, and we are very optimistic about future developments. In fact, we anticipate an average increase in sales of 20-25% annually over the next 3-4 years.
Full speed ahead in the USA
Novozymes is the largest supplier of enzymes to the bioethanol industry. Most of the global production of ethanol from corn takes place in the USA, so it is mainly sales to the American market that are on the increase – and the American market is so important to Novozymes that we are now expanding our production capacity in the USA.
But all around the world, exciting markets are opening for Novozymes’ enzymes for bioethanol production. Novozymes has entered into partnerships with companies including POET in the USA, Abengoa in Spain, and COFCO in China.
Most recently, in September 2007, Novozymes began a partnership with the Brazilian sugarcane industry’s technical center CTC (Centro de Tecnologia Canavieira) with a view to developing bioethanol from bagasse – a by-product from the production of sugar from sugarcane.
In 2007, there has been widespread debate about the advantages and disadvantages of using bioethanol instead of petrol. Novozymes advocates the use of bioethanol, for several compelling reasons:
However, it is necessary to be aware of possible challenges associated with using biofuel:
At www.biomass.novozymes.com you can find more information on the opportunities and challenges of using bioethanol and on Novozymes’ opinions.
Novozymes produces enzymes used in the production of both first- and second-generation bioethanol.
First-generation bioethanol is produced from sugar or starchy raw materials such as wheat or corn. With the help of enzymes, these are converted into sugar that can be
fermented into bioethanol.
Second-generation bioethanol is based on cellulose-rich by-products from agriculture and forestry, such as straw, corn stover or sugarcane by-products. The process is more challenging, but the result is the same as for first-generation bioethanol:
Enzymes convert the raw material into sugar, which can
then be fermented into bioethanol and used as an alternative to petrol.
Novozymes anticipates that the enzyme technology
necessary for producing second-generation bioethanol will be sufficiently developed to be commercially attractive by