DOE award supports enzyme development

By Staff | February 14, 2013

The U.S. DOE has made an award of up to $2.5 million to help Novozymes identify new and efficient enzymes to produce advanced biofuels and chemicals from corn stover. The company is partnering with MBI International on the project.

The two companies will spend two years screening natural enzymes to determine the best performing varieties. The selected enzymes will be tested on pretreated agricultural waste for conversion to sugar.
The project will utilize MBI’s Ammonia Fiber Expansion (AFEX) pretreatment technology, which was invented by Michigan State University professor Bruce Dale. According to MBI, the technology is compatible with high solids enzyme and fermentation processing, produces minimal waste streams and operates under relatively mild conditions.

In addition to helping Novozymes further its research, the award will also offer a means for external evaluation of the enzymes, as the DOE requires a government lab to validate performance targets.