Novozymes announced this morning that they have signed a research and development agreement to make biofuel from wood chips and other forestry residues with Lignol Energy Corporation. The goal of the partnership is to develop a process for making biofuel from forestry waste at a production cost less than $2 per gallon making it economically competitive with current gasoline and corn ethanol market prices.
“Novozymes’ goal is to enable commercial production of cellulosic biofuel from a wide range of feedstocks,” says Claus Crone Fuglsang, Senior Director of BioEnergy R&D in Novozymes. “Our enzymes have the unique ability to turn wood residues and plant waste into fuel for our cars. Lignol is an industry frontrunner and our work together over the past couple of years has reinforced a shared vision to produce energy and value from wood waste. We look forward to continued improvement under this partnership.”
This past February, Novozymes released an enzyme that enables commercial production of biofuel from plant waste. The enzyme converts cellulose in biomass into sugars that can then be fermented into ethanol. Lignol has developed a pre-treatment technology that prepares the wood prior to the introduction of the enzymes. The two will use Lignol’s pilot plant in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada for the research and development of this cellulosic technology.
Lignol President and CEO Ross MacLachlan concluded, “The progress we have achieved to date with enzymes from Novozymes is extremely promising and a successful outcome of this collaboration should position us to produce cellulosic ethanol from woody biomass profitably and without the need for long term government subsidies.”