Enzyme giant forecasts bigger U.S. ethanol production using less corn

Source: Special to E&E • Posted: Monday, April 28, 2014

Denmark’s Novozymes, the world’s biggest maker of industrial enzymes used in the production of biofuels, forecast yesterday that U.S. ethanol production will rise slightly this year to 13.5 billion gallons after a strong start to the year.

The company said its enzyme sales to the bioenergy industry grew by 34 percent in local currencies in the first quarter of the year, when ethanol production increased by 11 percent in the United States according to Energy Information Administration data.Novozymes, which has partnered with Italy’s Beta Renewables to try to promote cost-effective ways of producing cellulosic, or second-generation, biofuels, said it has seen an increase in demand for its higher-performance enzymes. The products allow producers to get 5 percent more ethanol out of corn while saving on energy and chemicals, thus improving yield and flexibility.”The enzymes give our customers a choice,” said Niels Miles Frandsen, marketing director for bioenergy at Novozymes, in a statement. “They can look at corn and ethanol prices and then decide to buy less corn but still maintain the same ethanol output, or they can increase throughput without increasing input costs.”The company raised its profit growth forecast for the year.