Novozymes launches new yeast, fiber products

By Erin Voegele | July 07, 2021

Novozymes is launching two new yeast and fiber products that aim to boost ethanol plant efficiency, counteract production challenges, and allow facilities to further diversify their product offerings. The company will introduce the new products at the 2021 International Fuel Ethanol & Workshop in Des Moines, Iowa, on July 13-15.

Innova Element is the latest addition to Novozymes’ Innova yeast platform. Element specifically targets ethanol plants seeking the highest level of starch and glucose conversion.

Brian Brazeau, Novozymes president for North American and vice president of agricultural and industrial solutions, Americas, explains that Element increases ethanol yields by 2 percent on when compared to an industry-wide average without sacrificing any of the robustness that producers can come to appreciate about the Innova yeast platform.

According to Novozymes, the new yeast operates in a wide variety of fermentation time and excels in fermentations greater than 54 hours. Element can also achieve higher yields during fermentation temperature excursions, up to 98 degrees Fahrenheit, reducing variability and process upsets, and can ferment up to 36 percent of dry solids. Novozymes also indicated Element may significantly reduce the need for yeast nutritional supplements, such as urea.

In addition to Element, Novozymes is also launching a new fiber platform, Fiberex F2.5, which allows ethanol plants to access low-carbon fuel markets through cellulosic ethanol production while boosting yields of corn oil, an in-demand feedstock for renewable diesel production. The company said on average, 3 percent of total ethanol production at facilities utilizing the new fiber platform will qualify as cellulosic ethanol in low-carbon fuel markets. Fiberex F2.5 also boosts corn oil yields by as much as 15 percent and reduces residual starch by 18 percent to gain further performance on ethanol generation.

“In fiber conversion, we are continuing to respond to customers’ needs for diversification and business sustainability,” Brazeau said. “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-per-year facility.”

According to Brazeau, both Element and Fiberex F2.5 are designed to help ethanol producers run their plants their way. How one ethanol producer runs their plant and makes a profit can be fundamentally different to a different producer in a different location, he said. Location can have a huge impact on a particular plant’s costs and the end markets they are able to access. “We design our biology and combine it with our service in a way that I think is unparalleled in understanding how we can help [each] customer use biology to become more profitable,” Brazeau added, noting the company’s enzymes and yeast products synergistically work together to help maximize a plant’s desired product mix, whether that is higher ethanol yields, improved corn oil yields or cellulosic ethanol.

Brazeau stressed that Novozymes is passionate about the American ethanol industry and believes that ethanol is an integral part of the solution for meeting climate goals. Given the amount of internal combustion engines on the road, he said that liquid fuels will continue to be a primary transportation fuel. “I think its important for us to find solution for those [vehicles that] are as low carbon-intensity as possible,” Brazeau added, noting that the new Element yeast product and Fiberex F2.5 are designed to help ethanol producers have preferential access to low-carbon fuel markets as they continue to grow.

Brazeau also discussed the important work Novozymes does to support customers working through the challenges associated with entering the cellulosic ethanol space. We try to shepherd our customers and help lead they through the entire process of deploying the biology to get at those cellulosic gallons,” he said. “We’re familiar with that process and we think we have something unique to bring [to customers] there.”