Novozymes supplies Chinese pioneer
17.06.2012 - The Danish world market leader in enzyme technology, Novozymes A/S, will supply a large scale bioethanol production plant in China.
Baegsvaard – The deal was agreed during a visit from Hu Jintao, President of the People's Republic of China, in Copenhagen. Novozymes and its partner Shenqquan first announced the deal last month. China's Shengquan Group will start producing cellulosic ethanol in July, the company said. According to Shenqquan, it will be the first in the world to do so on a commercial scale. The production will also be cost-competitive given that the feedstock, conventional ethanol, is a waste product from Shengquan's current production. The Chinese company is investing US $100m in the new groundbreaking facility. Novozymes will supply the enabling enzyme technology.
"When Shengquan opens its facility next month, it will be the first in the world," explains Steen Riisgaard, President and CEO of Novozymes. "It's fantastic to finally see this industry go commercial; for more than 10 years our researchers have worked to bring down the cost of producing ethanol from agricultural residues and household and industrial waste." Shengquan is a producer of furfural for resin production in the foundry industry. Furfural is produced from corncob xylose, with the cellulose from the corncob left behind as a waste product. Using Novozymes' enzymes, Shengquan will now be able to convert the cellulose into higher-value sugars that can be fermented to ethanol. Shengquan will market the ethanol as an industrial solvent. "In order to continue to grow our country's economy at the same time as reducing our dependency on natural resources and minimizing the environmental impact, we need to start thinking of waste as an extremely valuable resource," comments Yi Lin Tang, President and Chairman of Shengquan Group. "Basically, we want and need to nurture a green and circular bioeconomy which is less dependent on fossil resources."