Bagsvaerd, Denmark – Danish biotechnology firm Novozymes has announced it has partnered with oil refinery Sinopec and China National Cereals, Oil & Foodstuff Corporation (COFCO) to develop bioethanol in China from agricultural waste. Together, the three partners cover the entire chain of production and distribution.
The partnership is intended to develop a commercial-scale process for producing second-generation bioethanol solely from corn stover. The fuel is expected to be able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 90 per cent when compared to oil-based fuels. China is the second-largest corn producer in the world, behind the U.S.
“With this partnership, Novozymes has once again demonstrated its position as the leader in developing enzymes able to convert waste to fuel,” said Novozymes CEO Steen Riisgaard. “This puts us one step closer to being able to produce commercial quantities of bioethanol from agricultural waste. Second-generation bioethanol production in China holds vast potential for Novozymes as the technology leader, and we expect to be the first company with enzymes ready for large-scale production by 2010.”
COFCO and Novozymes have cooperated for the past two years and as part of the agreement, COFCO has run a small-scale pilot plant during that time. Sinopec, the world’s third-largest oil refinery, has a 60 per cent share in China’s refined-oil market.