Novozymes and MBI Partner to Win $2.5M DOE Award
LANSING, Mich. -- January 11, 2013
On January 3, the U.S. Department of Energy announced that it has awarded
Novozymes and MBI up to $2.5 million to develop new enzyme-based technologies
to convert corn stover into sugars for subsequent conversion into biofuels.
Novozymes, a world-leading enzyme company, brings its depth of expertise in
enzyme screening and development to the partnership, while MBI brings its
innovative AFEX^TM biomass processing technology.
“There are two major challenges in converting agricultural biomass into
biobased products,” said Allen Julian, Chief Business Officer of MBI. “One is
the challenge of handling, storing and hauling low-density biomass to the
refinery, and the other is the challenge of breaking down the biomass
cost-effectively into its constituent sugars.”
AFEX technology can be practiced in depots close to the farm, allowing dense
biomass pellets to be economically stored and shipped to a distant
biorefinery. In addition, AFEX alters the biomass structure so that enzymes
can more effectively break the biomass down into fermentable sugars.
The Novozymes/MBI collaboration is aimed at tailoring enzymes for AFEX-treated
biomass, which will in turn enable the production of low-cost fermentable
sugars. Such non-food biomass sugars can be converted into bio-based fuels,
chemicals and other products.
MBI previously won a $4.3 million Department of Energy award to develop and
scale up its AFEX technology. Under this project, MBI is currently completing
the installation of a 1 ton-per-day pilot-scale AFEX reactor at its Lansing,
MBI is a Lansing, Michigan based not-for-profit company whose mission is to
accelerate the commercialization of bio-based technologies. Leveraging its
world-class pilot facility and multi-disciplinary team, MBI is developing and
scaling up AFEX^TM, an innovative biomass processing technology that enables
the generation of abundant, clean, low-cost sugars from non-food sources. MBI
is affiliated with Michigan State University and is a member of the MSU
BioEconomy Network. For more information, visit www.mbi.org.
Novozymes is a global industrial biotechnology company and world leader in
enzymes, microorganisms and biopharmaceutical ingredients. Together with
customers across more than 30 industries, the company creates tomorrow’s
industrial biosolutions, improving its customers' business and the use of our
planet's resources. With over 700 products used in 130 countries, Novozymes’
bioinnovations improve industrial performance and safeguard the world’s
resources by offering superior and sustainable solutions for tomorrow’s
ever-changing marketplace. Read more at www.novozymes.com.
Novozymes North America
Paige Donnelly, Communications Manager N.A.
Allen Julian, Chief Business Officer
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