Novozymes, China companies to produce ethanol

By Ryan C. Christiansen | February 04, 2009
Web exclusive posted Feb. 9, 2009, at 10:45 a.m. CST

Denmark-based enzyme producer Novozymes A/S and China National Cereals, Oil & Foodstuff Corp. Ltd. have entered into a partnership with China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (Sinopec) to develop a process to produce ethanol from corn stover on a commercial-scale. Sinopec owns 30,000 fueling stations in China and will collaborate with Novozymes and COFCO to distribute the ethanol.

"This puts us one step closer to being able to produce commercial quantities of [ethanol] from agricultural waste," said Steen Riisgaard, chief executive officer for Novozymes. "Second-generation [ethanol] production in China holds vast potential for Novozymes as the technology leader, and we expect to be the first company with enzymes ready for large-scale production by 2010."

According to Novozymes, for the past two years the company has contributed its technology to the operation of a pilot-scale facility for converting corn stover to ethanol in China. COFCO will continue to operate the pilot plant.

Besides COFCO in China, Novozymes has entered into partnerships with ethanol producers Poet LLC in the U.S. and with Abengoa Bioenergy S.A. in Spain. In September 2007, Novozymes entered into a partnership with Centro de Tecnologia Canavieira to produce ethanol from bagasse, a byproduct from producing ethanol from sugarcane.