Novozymes concludes agreement in Brazil on the development of second-generation biofuels

Novozymes has concluded a development agreement with CTC, the Brazilian sugar cane industry’s technical center. Under this agreement Novozymes will contribute enzyme technology for developing bioethanol from bagasse

The agreement with CTC (Centro de Tecnologia Canavieira) is a research collaboration with a view to developing bioethanol from bagasse – a residual product of sugar production from sugar cane. The development work will take place in a close collaboration between CTC and Novozymes in Brazil, aided by Novozymes’ R&D centers in the US and Denmark. This future process will enable higher ethanol yield in the production process from sugar cane and will thereby optimize the process economy and energy balance and will also reduce the land use and emission of green house gases further.

”We are really looking forward to the co-operation with CTC, being an important player in the Brazilian biofuels sector," says Novozymes’ CEO, Steen Riisgaard. "The research agreement is part of our efforts to identify economically profitable processes within the development of biofuels from plant waste and other biomass, and although it will be a few years before we know the extent to which the co-operation can be commercialized, we see considerable potential."

Contract to be signed in Copenhagen

The agreement will be signed in Copenhagen on Thursday, September 13 in the presence of Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Danish prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen. President Lula will be the first Brazilian president to make a state visit to Denmark, on September 12–13.

As early as the 1970s Brazil was the first country in the world to begin using bioethanol on a large scale, and today it is the world’s largest producer of biofuel. In contrast to Europe, the US, and China, where bioethanol is predominantly produced from starch-containing crops such as corn and wheat, Brazil’s production is mainly based on sugar cane. Almost 40% of Brazil’s gasoline consumption is now covered by bioethanol, and the country also exports a large proportion of its production.

About CTC – Sugar Cane Center of Technology – Brazil

Located in Piracicaba in the state of São Paulo, CTC is supported by 160 national units producing sugar and alcohol that currently service more than 12,000 sugar cane suppliers.

CTC has experimental stations in the states of São Paulo and Bahia. Recently, regional units were also inaugurated in strategic points in the southeastern, southern, and midwestern regions to optimize production-related services. And by the end of this year the most important research center in the sugar cane segment of Brazil will complete its implementation program with a further unit in the northeastern region.The center carries out research in the areas of industry, logistics, and agronomy, including mechanic planting and harvesting, biotechnology, biological pest control, healthy seedlings, geoprocessing, satellite images, production environment charts, sugar and alcohol production, and power generation. CTC is currently running various ongoing research programs, which have harvested domestic sugar cane varieties that yield the best productivity rates, crop yields, saccharose rates, and resistance to diseases and pests.Some 300 people are involved in CTC’s activities, working to ensure Brazil’s position as the world leader in sugar and ethanol production.