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Novozymes launches advanced enzymes targeting DP2 sugars in ethanol plants

Novozymes has announced the launch of new enzyme suite to convert residual sugar at ethanol plants that would otherwise be wasted. An average 100 MGY ethanol plant can make up to US$1 million in additional revenue says the company.

Novozymes' enzyme production in Tianjin, China – the largest enzyme fermentation facility in the world (photo courtesy Novozymes).

Novozymes’ enzyme production in Tianjin, China – the largest enzyme fermentation facility in the world (photo courtesy Novozymes).

Denmark-headed industrial enzymes and microorganisms developer and producer Novozymes has announced the launch of the Spirizyme® T Portfolio, an advanced suite of glucoamylase enzymes with trehalase and other yield enhancing activities that, it claims, provide “the most total sugar conversion” in the ethanol industry.

Trehalase is an enzyme that converts trehalose, a type of sugar that cannot be fermented to ethanol, to glucose, which is easily fermentable. Trehalose makes up a significant part of the so-called DP2 peak (two-sugar chains such as trehalose), a measure of residual sugar in an ethanol plant. The more DP2 an ethanol plant can convert; the more ethanol it will produce from the same feedstock.

Reduce residual sugar, increase profits

According to Novozymes, extensive plant trials of Spirizyme T have shown that it reduced the amount of residual DP2 by up to 70 percent, the most in the industry. This would allow a US ethanol plant with an annual capacity of 100 million gallons (≈ 378.54 million litre) to convert 11 million pounds (≈ 4.99 million kg) of otherwise wasted sugar to approximately 700 000 gallons (≈ 2.65 million litres) of additional ethanol per annum. At current prices, this would add nearly US$1 million in revenue for the plant.

– Reducing residual sugar is key to raise profitability at an ethanol plant. The Spirizyme T portfolio provides significant DP2 reduction across the board and offers our customers choice. There are options for plants with specific operating conditions, and plants looking to achieve particular goals, such as shorter fermentation or increasing total yield, said Peter Halling, Vice President Biofuel, at Novozymes.

According to Novozymes its Spirizyme T will be available in North America immediately, followed by Latin America and Europe later in 2017.

– Enzymes are only part of the equation. Analytical services and training can help turn plant data into actionable improvements, added Halling alluding to Novozymes suite of services including plant analysis to identify DP2 peaks and other efficiency hotspots.

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