Another U.S. ethanol plant has signed on to use the Enogen trait technology developed by Syngenta North America – Bonanza BioEnergy of Garden City, Kansas. According to Syngenta, Enogen allows corn to express a robust form of alpha amylase enzyme, eliminating the need to use liquid alpha amylase enzymes during dry grind ethanol production. The company also says their trait technology can help a plant reduce the slurry viscosity of its corn mash, improving ethanol production while at the same time reducing energy, gas and water usage.
David Witherspoon, head of renewable fuels for Syngenta explained, “Enogen trait technology is available at a critical time for the ethanol industry as margins are tightening. By working across broad ranges of temperature and pH levels, Enogen corn creates flexibility for ethanol plants that helps them capture increased levels of throughput or cost savings based on market conditions.”
In July of this year, Bonanza BioEnergy, a member of Conestoga Energy Partners, completed a three-month trial of Enogen grain. The results convinced the plant to sign a commercial agreement to use the technology in ethanol production in 2013.
“We were very pleased with the enhanced efficiency Enogen grain demonstrated at our Bonanza facility during the trial and we’re confident that we can continue to see added value from the technology in the long run,” said Tom Willis, CEO of Conestoga Energy Partners. “Working with Syngenta as a partner has been a great experience and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with them.”
Bonanza BioEnergy is working to source Enogen grain from local growers in the community. Using specific, yet simple stewardship protocols for the production, harvest and storage of Enogen corn, growers under contract will begin planting Enogen corn seed in the spring and will deliver their Enogen grain to the ethanol plant following harvest next fall.