Genencor Launches Commercial Enzyme Product For Cellulosic Ethanol

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Genencor announced a new product, Accellerase 1000, the first ever commercially available biomass enzyme developed specifically for second generation biorefineries. Accellerase 1000 contains a potent complex of enzymes that reduces complex lignocellulosic biomass into fermentable sugars -- an indispensable step for the production of cellulosic ethanol.

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Genencor has been developing its biomass enzymes for well over 10 years. The effort was partially supported by contracts with the US Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Commercial interest in second generation biorefineries, driven in part by government policies to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases and increase energy independence, has accelerated over the past two years in the USA and around the world. Accellerase 1000 will fill a large unmet need for reliable biomass enzyme supply to pilot and demonstration plant developers who are actively working on process development, scale up and integration. Accellerase 1000 is the first in what the company expects to be a family of products tailored to different biomass feedstocks and system conditions. The key features that are expected to be important at commercial scale are already built into this first product.

"The biofuels industry is at an inflection point with the development of cellulosic ethanol plants at the pilot and demonstration scale," said Jack Huttner, vice president of biorefinery business development. "Every biorefinery developer needs to know how enzymes will work in their system. This product aims to address that need and to start a dialogue with potential partners about customized solutions and supply at the industrial scale."

"Enzymes, such as those developed by Genencor, will serve as catalysts to the commercial-scale viability of cellulosic ethanol, a clean source of energy to help meet President Bush's goal of reducing our reliance on oil," DOE Assistant Secretary Andy Karsner said. "Ethanol from new feed stocks will not only give America more efficient fuel options to help transform our transportation sector, but increasing its use will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

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