Washington, D.C. – A vehicle partially fuelled by government office waste paper and cardboard has driven the streets of Washington, D.C. in a demonstration of a new biofuel enzyme technology.
Global bio-innovation company Novozymes partnered with Fiberight of Maryland to provide the demonstration fuel.
“The advanced biofuels showcased here today demonstrate that the enzyme technology is ready for market,” said Adam Monroe, president of Novozymes North America. “What we need now is commercialization and deployment of advanced biofuels in order to help meet our country’s most pressing energy and environment challenges.”
The demonstration, held in conjunction with the Washington Auto Show, gave government VIPs and members of the media a chance to test-drive a flex-fuel Chevrolet HHR fuelled with the paper-based biofuel. A similarly-fuelled Ford F-150 is on display at the show throughout the week. Both vehicles run on E85, a blend of 85 per cent biofuel and 15 per cent gasoline.
Novozymes has developed an “enzyme cocktail” that can be used to make advanced biofuel from agricultural residues, municipal waste and energy crops. The biofuel demonstrated at the show is produced by Fiberight, using a sequence of pulping, pre-treatment and wash, followed by enzymes that turn the paper waste into sugars that are then fermented into biofuel.
Novozymes received two contracts from the U.S. Department of Energy, for US$2.2 million in 2002 and $12.3 million in 2008, for research to bring down the cost of enzymes and improve their efficiency in converting cellulose to biofuel. The company said that it achieved a 50 per cent cost reduction in enzymes in 2009.