DuPont to Buy Dyadic Enzyme Business

DuPont’s Industrial Biosciences is purchasing Dyadic International’s Industrial Technology business. The two companies have entered into a definitive agreement that will sell Dyadic’s enzyme business to DuPont for $75 million in cash. Once the transaction is complete, Dyadic plans to focus solely on its biopharmaceutical business. The deal is expected to close by the end of 2015 pending approval by a majority of Dyadic’s stockholders and customary closing conditions.

Dyadic logoMark Emalfarb, Dyadic’s founder and CEO, said, “This transaction is an exceptional opportunity to unlock value and provide Dyadic operational flexibility to further develop our pharmaceutical business. We will now focus our C1 technology exclusively on the pharmaceutical sector where we believe it has the potential to help develop and manufacture drugs and vaccines faster and more efficiently than existing production systems.”

Dyadic will sell to DuPont substantially all of its enzyme and technology assets, including its C1 platform, a technology for producing enzyme products used in a broad range of industries. As part of the transaction, DuPont has granted back to Dyadic co-exclusive rights to the C1 technology for use in human and animal pharmaceutical applications, with exclusive ability to enter into sub-license agreements in that field. However, DuPont will retain certain rights to utilize the C1 technology for development and production of pharmaceutical products, for which it will make royalty payments to Dyadic upon commercialization.

“We are very proud of the C1 platform and our team responsible for its development over the past decade,” added Michael Tarnok, Dyadic’s Chairman. “We are pleased to be able to provide liquidity and increased value to our stockholders and look forward to building our pharmaceutical business.”

Novozymes Ranked Best Science Employer

Science Magazine has ranked Novozymes at the top of its Top Employers list. The publication polled employees in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and related industries to determine the 20 best employers globally. The key characteristics the magazine was looking for in the ranking were ‘Innovative leader in the industry,’ ‘Treats employees with respect’ and ‘Is socially responsible’.

Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 7.57.47 AM“We are very proud to be recognized as the best employer by this leading scientific journal,” said Per Falholt, chief science officer at Novozymes. “We develop biological answers to some of the greatest challenges of our time. Our growing world needs more food, better farming, renewable energy, and clean air and water. Our products really make a difference, and I believe that is a great motivation for everyone at Novozymes.”

Novozymes has been a major player in the field since the 1940s. One in five of its 6,500 employees work in research and development (R&D), with the company’s main research centers located in Denmark, China, U.S. and India. Novozymes invests 13-14% of its total revenue into R&D each year. The company is the largest maker of industrial enzymes and microorganisms, and their biotechnology is used by companies around the world to save energy, water and raw materials in the production of a wide range of products from laundry detergents, textiles and beer, to biofuels, animal feed and crops. Earlier this week, Novozymes launched their next gen enzyme product Avantec Amp.

Novozymes Intros Avantec Amp Ethanol Enzyme

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.

Novozymes_logo_left“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.”

DuPont & Quad County Sign Enzyme Contract

DuPont Industrial Biosciences will continue to supply the enzymes that enable Quad County Corn Processors’ (QCCP) Cellerate process in the production of cellulosic biofuel from corn kernel fiber.  The ethanol plant developed the process and was the first in the country to produce cellulosic ethanol gallons from the corn kernel fiber. QCCP uses DuPont Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 8.24.19 AMOPTIMASH suite of enzymes from the DuPont Accellerase portfolio of cellulosic enzymes. The OPTIMASH enzymes are specifically formulated for use in the corn fiber cellulosic application.

The process was developed using DuPont’s enzymes. Over the last year of production, QCCP Chief Engineer Travis Brotherson has seen a marked difference in value between DuPont’s enzymes and its competitors’ offering. “DuPont’s enzymes have consistently outperformed other products in driving cellulosic ethanol and corn oil yield in our Cellerate process,” said Brotherson.

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 8.24.24 AMQCCP currently produces 2 million gallons of biofuel per year from cellulose conversion, but anticipates production of an additional 2 million gallons of biofuel per year once a C5 yeast is approved. The benefits of adding second-generation biofuel production to an existing dry grind ethanol facility are substantial – from additional ethanol, Cellulosic RINs1 to additional distiller’s corn oil. QCCP further estimates that their technology has the potential to enable grain ethanol plants in the United States to produce over 1 billion gallons of cellulosic ethanol annually based on total corn kernel fiber conversion in the dry grind industry.

“DuPont’s goal is to enable the bioeconomy through science,” said Jan Koninckx, global business director for advanced biofuel at DuPont. “To reach that goal, we offer multiple solutions, from our full advanced biofuels technology licensing to delivering customized solutions in both enzyme technology and co-product production for ethanol producers. We’re proud to be a partner with QCCP, enabling the growth and success of advanced biofuels here in the United States.”

DuPont is commissioning its cellulosic biofuel facility in Nevada on October 30, 2015. The plant is fueled by corn stover and will produce 30 millions gallons of cellulosic ethanol per year.

Novozymes Launches Liquozyme LpH for Ethanol

Novozymes_logo_leftNovozymes has launched a new enzyme for ethanol producers who want to reduce their use of chemicals without sacrificing yield. Liquozyme LpH is an alpha-amylase effective at low pH that thins the mash by breaking down starch into shorter dextrin chains. A more fluid mash ensures more efficient operational performance for ethanol producers running their production at low pH. According to Novozymes, plant trials have shown improved viscosity levels and liquefaction, enabling customers to reduce their use of chemicals for pH adjustment.

“We were really pleased by our recent trials,” said Peter Halling, vice president for biofuels at Novozymes. “Ethanol producers can reduce dosing of both ammonia and sulphuric acid during the cook process. This saves costs and ensures a safer working environment.

Liquozyme LpH is the latest addition to Novozymes’ range of enzyme products for the ethanol industry, and there is more to come.

“Novozymes will continue to develop new technology for the ethanol industry,” Halling added. “We will expand our portfolio further towards the end of the year with significant new innovation.”

Neb Gov Ricketts Rallies for RFS

On Friday, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts rallied for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in Blair, Nebraska at Novozymes’ biofuel enzyme facility. Also in attendance was Iowa Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds, Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson and Kyle Nixon, Novozymes general manager. According to speakers, should the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final rule that slashes the required volumes of corn ethanol by more than one million gallons move forward, it will threaten thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of investments by ethanol producers in Nebraska and Iowa.

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts speaks about the RFS during a rally held at Novozyme's enzyme facility in Blair, Nebraska. Photo Credit: Novozymes

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts speaks about the RFS during a rally held at Novozyme’s enzyme facility in Blair, Nebraska. Photo Credit: Novozymes.

“Agriculture is Nebraska’s number one industry, and ethanol is one of the key agricultural growth industries that have added billions in revenue and thousands of jobs over the past decade to our state,” said Gov. Ricketts. “These efforts were undertaken in expectation that such efforts would meet the commitment of this nation to renewable fuels established by the Renewable Fuel Standard. Nebraskans have cause for concern because the EPA’s proposal to slash billions of gallons of biofuels from the RFS has the potential to negatively impact the future growth of our state. The RFS is an achievable and ambitious target and must be maintained.”

Today is the last day for public comment on the rule and more than 200,000 comments alone were submitted today by Fuels America. Earlier this year the association released an economic study citing the RFS driving $184 billion in economic activity, 850,000 jobs and $46 billion in wages across the country. This activity, found the report, creates a ripple effect as supplier firms and employees re-spend throughout the economy. The local impact for Nebraska is $11.1 billion and nearly 40,000 jobs. Likewise, the impact for Iowa is $19.3 billion and 73,000 jobs.

Today the U.S. biofuels industry produces 14 billion gallons of ethanol and biodiesel.

According to Nixon, enzymes from Novozyme’s Blair, Nebraska plant allow agricultural products like corn starch and corn stover to be converted into conventional and advanced biofuels. He noted the facility has helped realize two of the Obama Administration’s key goals for renewable energy; creating short-term construction and long-term professional jobs; and helping move the U.S. away from foreign oil and towards homegrown renewable fuel, energizing the economy and increasing domestic security. Continue reading

Enogen Press Conference at Iowa Speedway

Engine Press ConferenceToday Syngenta announced a major donation to the Prime the Pump fund, an industry initiative to help early retail adopters of high-level ethanol blends through grants to reduce their initial investment in infrastructure. On the pane (l-r) are Chris Tingle, Syngenta; Ray Defenbaugh, Prime the Pump; Kelly Manning, Growth Energy; Delayne Johnson, Quad County Corn Processors and Chris Soule, Iowa farmer and star of ABC’s The Bachelor and Dancing With the Stars.

Syngenta says it will donate approximately $600,000 to the initiative by contributing $1 for every acre planted with Enogen corn enzyme technology. This effort stated in 2013 and is being extended to 2016. Besides the money being raised for the Prime the Pump initiative, the FFA students here today helping collect money for the fund will be receiving matching dollars for the money they raise. So, when you look at the value to the ethanol plants of Enogen corn which already has a vital enzyme for processing which saves the plant money; the fact that farmers growing Enogen corn are receiving a significant bonus incentive on the price of their corn; the fact that this initiative is helping expand the market and use of ethanol and local FFA chapters are benefitting, it seems like a win-win for everyone.

I have recorded the full press conference for you to listen to here: Syngenta Enogen Press Conference

2015 American Ethanol 200 Presented by Enogen Photo Album

Coverage of the American Ethanol 200 sponsored by Enogen
Coverage of the American Ethanol 200 is sponsored by Enogen

Novozymes Increases Ethanol Plant Sustainability

few15-novozymes-jackNovozymes sees a tremendous potential to increase performance at ethanol plants. Jack Rogers, biofuels global marketing manager for Novozymes highlighted several of these projects during the Fuel Ethanol Workshop. He said they have a number of products in the pipeline that target specific areas of the ethanol production process.

One area of focus is in improving ethanol conversion yields. Rogers said that several of their forthcoming projects will address this area and take Novozymes beyond where they are today. He also said they have products being developed that will reduce energy and chemical use. “So there are a lot of ways we see us being able to help add value to the ethanol plant.”

Novozymes is focused on helping the biofuels industry become even more sustainable. Rogers said they are committed to helping the industry reduce inputs and improve the carbon intensity of the industry. He said they feel really good about the contributions they can make to the industry and their efforts to keep improving biofuel production.

Interview with Jack Rogers, Novozymes

2015 Fuel Ethanol Workshop Photo Album

Coverage of the Fuel Ethanol Conference is sponsored by
Coverage of the Fuel Ethanol Conference is sponsored by Novozymes

Nebraska Governor Visits Novozymes

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts wrapped up his first agricultural trade mission this week with a visit to Novozymes world headquarters in Denmark, where a company tour showcased the production of unique enzymes and microbial products used in the animal nutrition, agriculture, and biofuels industries.

Novozymes CEO Peder Holk Nielsen welcomes Nebraska Gov. Ricketts

Novozymes CEO Peder Holk Nielsen welcomes Nebraska Gov. Ricketts

While at Novozymes, Gov. Ricketts and the United States Ambassador to Denmark hosted a roundtable on renewable fuels and bio-products where Nebraska delegates “showcased the dynamic interaction between the corn, cattle, and ethanol sectors and their important roles in Nebraska’s success in agriculture.”

Industry representatives presented U.S. market trends and regulations to the group, with a focus on co-products, revenue opportunities, and biorefinery developments. In addition to the governor, Nebraska roundtable participants included Department of Economic Development Director Brenda Hicks-Sorensen, KAAPA President and Nebraska Ethanol Board representative Paul Kenny, Green Plains Energy COO Jeff Briggs and Bret Wyant with American Laboratories. European company executives included representatives from Novozymes, Dong Energy, Leifmark, Renew Energy, DuPont, and the U.S. Embassy.

The Governor and mission members also met with Novozymes CEO Peder Holk Nielsen and Executive Vice Presidents of Business Development and Supply Operations Thomas Videbaek and Thomas Nagy to discuss business development and international expansion. Ricketts says the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was a concern as they discussed expansion plans in the United States. “With the EPA changing the rule, pulling the rug out from under our ethanol producers, by changing the RFS they’ve created uncertainty,” said Ricketts. “That uncertainty is impacting Novozymes as it’s impacting the rest of the industry.”

Novozymes opened its newest advanced manufacturing plant in Blair, Nebraska to make enzymes for biofuels production in 2012 in part because of strong policies like the RFS.

Listen to the governor’s summary of the trade trip here:Neb. Gov Pete Ricketts on trade trip wrap up

Novozymes Enzyme Solutions for Ethanol Producers

few15-novo-nickOne of the last presentations at the 2015 Fuel Ethanol Workshop featured some of the enzymatic solutions Novozymes North America offers to optimize fermentation and increase yields.

Novozymes data scientist Nick Giffen discussed Novozymes throughput solutions such as Avantec and Olexa. “Avantec is our featured liquifaction solution,” said Giffen. “It provides a more well-prepared mash for fermentation.” Olexa® is specifically designed for oil recovery, releasing 15% more oil for extraction, increasing ethanol yield and reducing use of natural gas. Both products Giffen says really help fermentation take off and produce ethanol faster.

Giffen also talked about Spirizyme® Achieve, the industry’s first fiber-degrading glucoamylase. “That allows the fiber-bound starch to be released which provides an extra pool for yield to come from,” said Giffen.

In the five years Giffen has been with Novozymes he has helped in the development of all these relatively new products. “My role is to really focus on the proof of concept phase of our new product launches and analyze the data and figure out the trends going on,” he said, adding that he thoroughly loves his job. Interview with Nick Giffen, Novozymes

2015 Fuel Ethanol Workshop Photo Album

Coverage of the Fuel Ethanol Conference is sponsored by
Coverage of the Fuel Ethanol Conference is sponsored by Novozymes