Novozymes has introduced its next-generation of enzyme technology for cellulosic biofuels, Cellic CTec3, an advanced cellulase and hemicellulase complex. The enzyme enables more cost-efficient conversion of biomass to ethanol and performs 1.5 times better than its predecessor, Cellic CTec2.
Using Cellic CTec3, biofuel producers need only one-fifth of the enzyme dose compared to competing enzymes. Cellic CTec3 allows the cost of producing ethanol from biomass to approach the level of corn ethanol and gasoline, according to the company.
“The first plants start commercial production of advanced biofuels this year,” says Novozymes’ CEO Steen Riisgaard. “Novozymes has signed supply deals with a number of the leading players in this field, and we’re thrilled to supply the enzymes that will enable an advanced biofuels industry and contribute to job creation, economic growth, and energy security. With our new product, Cellic CTec3, and the first plants starting commercial production, this is a huge step forward in the transition from an oil-based economy to a bio-based economy. We will continue to develop more efficient enzymes to further reduce the total cost of producing advanced biofuels.”
Among the first-movers are M&G and Fiberight. Both companies will use Cellic CTec3 in their operations and are set to begin production this year. M&G Group is scheduled to open a facility in Crescentino, Italy, producing 13 million gallons of ethanol per year from wheat straw, energy crops, and other locally available feedstocks. Fiberight will open a small-scale plant in Lawrenceville, Virginia, this year, and a plant producing 6 million gallons per year in Blairstown, Iowa, in 2013. Both plants will convert municipal solid waste into biofuel.