An ocean of fuels
Copenhagen/Bangalore – Biofuels need reliable sources of biomass.
Novozymes now looks to the ocean to secure biomass. The Danish enzyme specialist announced an exploratory research agreement with Sea6 Energy from India. The research alliance sets out to develop enzymes to convert seaweed-based carbohydrates to sugar, which can then be fermented to produce ethanol, the base material for biorefineries which produce fuels, as well as fine chemicals, proteins for food, and fertilizers. Financial details were not disclosed.
The Danes chose their partner for expertise in offshore seaweed cultivation technology. Sea6 Energy has developed ocean-farming structures which could be used to create large-scale seaweed farms in offshore locations, the company says. Warm sea conditions, abundant sunlight, and the possibility for several harvest cycles through the year make the waters around India particularly suitable. Novozymes says. Seaweed is a natural complement to our efforts to convert other types of biomass to fuel ethanol,” says Per Falholt, CSO of Novozymes. “More than half of the dry mass in seaweed is sugar, and the potential is therefore significant.”