Enzymes to produce biofuels from sawdust
The world’s first facility to produce cellulosic ethanol from sawdust will use Novozymes’ enzymes. It marks an exciting step for regions rich in soft wood.
A sawmill site will home the first biorefinery to use sawdust to produce cellulosic ethanol at commercial scale. St1 Biofuels will construct the facility in Kajaani, Finland, and Novozymes’ enzymes will power the complex conversion into biofuel. The biorefinery will initially produce 10 million liters of cellulosic ethanol, but this can be scaled up to an annual output of 50 to 100 million liters.
Sawdust, or wood dust, is a by-product of the forestry industry and is composed of fine particles of wood. Softwood comes from trees like pine that have needles instead of leaves. With Finland as the home of a major softwood forest industry, the country has an abundance of sawdust.
The construction of the biorefinery supports Finland’s climate and energy strategy. The country has implemented a mandate to increase the share of renewable energy in transport up to 20% by 2020.
Total investment is expected to be €40 million of which an investment grant will cover 30%. Construction is scheduled to begin in the second half of 2015, with production expected to start in 2016.