"By converting agricultural residues into fuel ethanol, China can reduce its gasoline consumption by 31 million tons in 2020, thereby reducing its dependence on imported petroleum by around 10%. By doing that China will abate about 90 million tons of CO2 emissions. Meanwhile this industry will create 6 million direct jobs, resulting in an RMB 32 billion – around USD 4.7 billion – income increase annually," says Steen Riisgaard, CEO of Novozymes.
Bioethanol a favorable alternative to fossil fuels
According to a report by Novozymes, cellulosic ethanol is economically favorable compared to other CO2 abatement technologies in transportation.
The report estimates that China can produce cellulosic ethanol at the cost of USD 2.5 per gallon by 2010, and dramatically reduce this to USD 1.5 per gallon by 2015.
This is based on China-specific costs, including raw material collection and transportation, ethanol production, midstream logistics, and downstream distribution.
In the short term, building the cellulosic ethanol industry in China represents an RMB 90 billion (~USD 13 billion) business opportunity, of which Chinese companies will capture more than 75%.
Commercially available enzymes in 2010
Novozymes is a leading company in the development of enzymes for the production of cellulosic ethanol. In 2010, the company will be ready to deliver enzymes for commercial production of ethanol based on agricultural residues. On February 2, 2009, Novozymes and its Chinese partner COFCO entered into a new partnership with major Chinese oil and energy company Sinopec to develop a commercial-scale process for producing bioethanol from corn stover. Together the three partners cover the entire value chain of bioethanol production and distribution.
First step towards a bio-based society
Biofuel refers to liquid products such as bioethanol and biodiesel, which can replace gasoline or diesel. Compared to oil, biofuels are based on renewable input, and they generate lower CO2 emissions. Cellulosic ethanol, also called second-generation bioethanol, reduces greenhouse gas emissions by at least 90% when compared to oil-based fuels.
‘Novozymes has driven the development of a more sustainable society through enzyme-based technologies for more than 25 years," says CEO Steen Riisgaard. "And we believe bioethanol is a significant step towards a world that is not dependent on diminishing fossil oil reserves. We call it the bio-based society."
The Boao Forum for Asia
The Boao Forum for Asia is an annual high-level, nongovernmental, not-for-profit international forum for leaders in government, business, and academia in Asia and other continents to share visions on the most pressing issues in the region and the world at large. Focus is on economics, integration, cooperation, society, and environment.