Cellulosic Ethanol: An ever closer reality in Brazil

Between 2010 and 2030, exciting growth could be a reality in cellulosic ethanol, and Brazil could become a main driver of future global bioethanol production.

Partnering with local industry leaders around the world helps Novozymes forge the path towards commercialization of cellulosic ethanol. Novozymes provides the enzymes that are crucial to its production, paying special attention to each step of the process to continually bring costs down. By providing highly integrated technologies, Novozymes leverages its advanced R&D and enzyme know-how to help the industry reach commercial viability.

This February, Novozymes delivered on a promise and launched NOVOZYMES CELLIC® CTec2 and HTec2, the first commercially viable enzyme for cellulosic ethanol, with significant performance improvements over previous products. More than just increasing performance at higher solids, the new enzymes are effective on a broad range of feedstocks.  “Working with our partners and using bagasse as a feedstock, compared to our previous CTec solution, we have already achieved significant enzyme cost reductions in pilot scale facilities,” says William Yassumoto, Novozymes Marketing Manager. “This is a significant step towards full value chain commercialization of cellulosic ethanol in Brazil,” he added.

This latest development, announced at this week’s F.O Lichts Sugar and Ethanol Conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil, builds on Novozymes’ 2010 promise to produce a commercially viable enzyme for cellulosic ethanol. In North America, enzyme cost reductions have resulted in some of Novozymes’ partners achieving a significant performance improvement with Cellic CTec2.   Major breakthroughs using corn-based biomass have been made, including dramatically reducing enzyme dosage down to as low as $0.50/gallon.

In Brazil, further expected efficiency gains using sugarcane residues such as bagasse will also depend heavily on factors such as process improvements and CAPEX/OPEX reductions across the industry value chain. “Leading Brazilian stakeholders such as CTC are laying foundations that could ensure commercial-scale production of cellulosic ethanol in the future. However, to reach its potential, the industry must continue to support cellulosic ethanol through infrastructure development. This includes expedited funding to build demonstration and commercial-scale plants,” says Cynthia Bryant, Global Business Development Manager at Novozymes. “The advancements we have already made are bringing us ever closer to unlocking the potential of cellulosic ethanol.”