Novozymes has added a new enzyme product to its portfolio called Avantec. According to the company, Avantec enables corn ethanol producers to obtain an extra 2.5 percent ethanol out of the corn thereby improving effieciency and profitability of biofuel production.
“Corn is the single biggest input cost for an ethanol producer, and as prices have gone up, profits have disappeared,” said Novozymes Executive Vice President Peder Holk Nielsen. “Avantec is a vitamin shot for the industry. It allows you to save a lot of corn and still produce the same amount of ethanol. If you’re an ethanol producer in today’s market, that’s a real boost to your bottom-line.”
Nielsen says a typical ethanol plant uses around 900,000 tons of feed-grade corn per year to produce 100 million gallons of fuel ethanol, 300,000 tons of animal feed (DDGS) and 8,500 tons of corn oil. With Avantec, however, this same ethanol plant can save 22,500 tons of corn while maintaining the same ethanol output.
In the United States, corn is the most used feedstock to produce ethanol and is also the biggest cost component for an ethanol plant. Advantec improves the starch conversion to sugar (the sugar is converted to ethanol). “Most U.S. ethanol plants convert 90-95% of the available starch, so there is significant potential for plant owners to increase output and maximize profits,” added Nielsen. “In fact, if all ethanol plants in the U.S. started using Avantec, they would save 3 million tons of corn.”