The vehicle fleet of the Government of Canada is now the first in the world to use cellulose-derived ethanol on an ongoing basis. NRCan, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and other Government of Canada departments are now using Iogen’s ethanol at a rate of about 100,000 liters per year.
Iogen, a Canadian biotech company, (earlier post) is a leader in cellulose ethanol technology. Its EcoEthanol process uses the cellulosic non-food portion of renewable feedstocks such as cereal straws and corn stover. The company’s breakthrough was the successful use of recombinant DNA-produced enzymes to break apart cellulose to produce the sugars that are used to make the ethanol.
Iogen has been producing cellulose ethanol for commercial use since April 2004. The technology results from more than 25 years of research and development and $130 million in investment by Iogen and its partners, including more than $21 million from the Government of Canada.
Such an approach to ethanol production carries a lower lifecycle emissions burden than does the production of ethanol from corn.
The Government of Canada operates 13 E85 fuelling stations and approximately 900 flex-fuel vehicles.