Novozymes supply enzymes new St1 Biofuels bio-refinery

Novozymes to supply enzymes for new St1 Biofuels bio-refinery

10:17 AM, 5th May 2015
Novozymes to supply enzymes for new St1 Biofuels bio-refinery

BAGSVAERD, DENMARK: Biotech company Novozymes A/S said it will supply enzyme technology to a new bio-refinery to be built by St1 Biofuels Oy in Kajaani, Finland. Total investment is expected to be €40 million of which an investment grant will cover 30 per cent. The plant will initially produce 10 million litres (2.7 million gallons) of cellulosic ethanol per year, but can be scaled up to annual output of 50 to 100 million litres, it said.

Construction is scheduled to begin in the second half of 2015, with production expected to start in 2016.

The facility will be co-located at a sawmill site and will be the first facility in the world to use sawdust from softwood as feedstock to produce cellulosic ethanol at commercial scale. The process uses steam-explosion to open up the cellulosic structures of sawdust, followed by enzymatic hydrolysis to extract sugars for ethanol fermentation.

“It marks an important step for Finland and other countries around the world that have ample softwood supplies,” said Sebastian Soderberg, vice president, biomass conversion, Novozymes.

“I am pleased to have Novozymes as enzyme technology supplier. The collaboration is key in optimizing our production costs that is one of the key elements in commercial cellulosic ethanol production,” said Mika Aho, managing director, St1 Biofuels.

The new plant marks the potential for commercial scale production of cellulosic ethanol in regions where plenty of softwood is available, notably the Northern hemisphere.

Moreover, the plant will be constructed and operated by St1 Biofuels using the company’s proprietary pre-treatment and process technologies called Cellunolix®. It is owned by North European Bio Tech Oy (NEB), and the production capacity of the plant will be leased to North European Oil Trade Oy (NEOT).

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