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Bioenergy Innovations Offer Powerful Results

Novozymes’ bioinnovations in yeast and fiber set new standards for efficiency in ethanol production

Photo: Novozymes North Ameria
Photo: Novozymes North Ameria

After a challenging time during the pandemic, for the first time in over a year the ethanol industry will gather at large in Iowa, hoping also to welcome innovations that provide a substantial boost in efficiency and counteract other production challenges.

At the Fuel Ethanol Workshop (FEW), the world’s largest ethanol event, Novozymes will be introducing two advanced technologies, in yeast and fiber, that have significant potential to achieve this and more.

“By continuing to combine the biological synergies and sustainability of our enzymes, yeast, and technical service platforms, Novozymes is establishing new performance expectations for ethanol production,” says Brian Brazeau, Novozymes’ president for North America and vice president, Agricultural & Industrial Biosolutions, Americas.

“We love taking on tough challenges to create something meaningful and sustainable for our customers and the world – and we cannot wait to bring these two new innovations to FEW this year after such an extraordinary time for the industry.”

A new “power yeast”

Innova Element is the latest addition to Novozymes’ ambitious Innova yeast platform that was launched less than three years ago and has met a clear need for better performance and reliability. Element specifically targets ethanol plants seeking the highest level of starch and glucose conversion.

Innova Element seeks to lead the industry in ethanol yield without sacrificing robust performance – delivering the most trusted performance in starch accessibility and conversion,” says Brazeau. “Through yeast engineered for today’s ethanol production needs, Element really takes advantage of its environment to maximize producer opportunity.”

Delivering Innova’s industry-leading robustness, Element is tolerant of high ethanol concentrations, powers through high organic acid and fermentation temperature excursions – delivering the lowest residual starch. This allows producers to push for new ethanol yield targets while minimizing losses to common stressors such as high temperature and organic acids.

Starch and glucose are fully consumed for on-time, clean, reliable fermentations. And, Element enables plants to improve throughput by raising solids and improving plant efficiency – or finish fermentations as needed because of its flexibility in speed.

Advanced fiber-degrading technology

In addition to the new yeast, and just a few months after establishing a new fiber platform, Novozymes will also introduce Fiberex F2.5 – continuing to advance its fiber-degrading technology based on full-scale plant trial results and fiber analysis.

For plants seeking to access lower carbon fuel markets for diversification, Fiberex F2.5 unlocks next-generation biofuel production while expanding plant profitability.

“In fiber conversion, we are continuing to respond to customers’ needs for diversification and business sustainability,” says Brian Brazeau.

“By combining the synergistic power of hemi-cellulase and cellulase enzymes, with Fiberex F2.5 the fiber matrix is more efficiently and completely broken down into its value-add components, including cellulosic ethanol and corn oil, which can generate up to $2.5 million dollars in additional revenue at a 100 million gallons/year facility.”

Novozymes has been the market leader in corn fiber conversion – with technologies that customers trust to support their goals. As a testament to its technology and collaborative approach, the company supports over 80% of the corn fiber-to-ethanol production in North America using in-process, drop-in enzymatic solutions.

Moreover, Novozymes goes beyond biology and collaborates with analytics and engineering partners to seamlessly bring fiber conversion technology to customers.

Taking a holistic approach

By leveraging the biological synergies and sustainability of Novozymes’ enzymes, yeast, and technical service platforms all together, ethanol producers can truly unlock more of their inputs to generate the highest levels of ethanol, expand diversification, lower their input costs, and achieve significant process efficiency gains. Together, these offerings realize significant, additional value when enabling their strengths to maximize production.

“By adopting a holistic approach in developing technology platforms, broad biotechnology toolsets, and consistently launching breakthrough solutions, we aim to maximize opportunities for bioenergy producers,” finishes Brian Brazeau. “The launches of Innova Element advanced yeast, Fortiva Hemi, our newest liquefaction solution, and Fiberex F2.5 for fiber-to-low-carbon ethanol production, together deliver the most holistic, sustainable, and advanced approach to ethanol production – all based on customer needs and our commitment to a better tomorrow.”

Novozymes is the world leader in biological solutions. Together with customers, partners and the global community, it improves industrial performance while preserving the planet's resources and helping build better lives.

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