The ethanol industry has a new enzyme with the introduction of Avantec Amp. Developed by Novozymes, the company says the enzyme improves yield and throughput in corn ethanol production while also increasing corn oil extraction. The product also reduces the need for several harsh chemicals used in production. According to Novozymes, by switching from standard technology to Avantec Amp, a 110 million gallon-per-year plant can see up to $2.5 million a year in additional net profits.
“Avantec Amp enables yield improvements and chemical reductions that were previously impossible,” says Peter Halling, vice president – Biofuel, at Novozymes. “It will boost our customers’ bottom line and give them flexibility to adjust their various revenue streams based on market conditions. Ultimately, it will give them a competitive advantage in a challenging market.”
Avantec was introduced in 2012 and Avantec Amp is the next generation. The new products combines multiple enzymes activities into one product, and, says Novozymes, surpasses competing enzyme solutions by squeezing more ethanol from each kernel of corn, thus enabling increased output and saving energy and water. The company also says the enzyme can also boost corn oil production by freeing up oil bound in the corn germ.
In addition, Avantec Amp reduces the need for a number of chemicals used to control and accelerate production processes at ethanol plants. Urea, which is used to improve the fermentation of ethanol, can be cut by more than 70%. Surfactants and ammonia, used to extract corn oil and adjust pH levels, can also be significantly reduced. According to Novozymes, Avantec Amp is the first enzyme product to replace urea and surfactants.
“By replacing these chemicals with enzymes you get greater safety for workers and lower costs,” adds Halling. “When you simplify the recipe, you reduce the risk of errors associated with handling multiple different compounds and you also have less need for storage.”