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New Novozymes enzyme improves corn ethanol yield

Novozymes launched a new enzyme product, Novozymes Avantec, which improves the efficiency and profitability of biofuel production. Avantec enables producers of corn ethanol to squeeze an extra 2.5% ethanol out of the corn, thereby improving their profit margins.

Corn is the single biggest input cost for an ethanol producer, and as prices have gone up, profits have disappeared. Avantec is a vitamin shot for the industry. It allows you to save a lot of corn and still produce the same amount of ethanol. If you’re an ethanol producer in today’s market, that’s a real boost to your bottom-line.

Most US ethanol plants convert 90-95% of the available starch, so there is significant potential for plant owners to increase output and maximize profits. In fact, if all ethanol plants in the U.S. started using Avantec, they would save 3 million tons of corn.

—Novozymes Executive Vice President Peder Holk Nielsen

A typical US corn ethanol plant uses around 900,000 tons of feed-grade corn per year to produce 100 million gallons of fuel ethanol, 300,000 tons of animal feed (DDGS) and 8,500 tons of corn oil. With Avantec, such a plant can save 22,500 tons of corn while maintaining the same ethanol output.

Over the past five years, continuous improvements in enzyme technology from Novozymes have helped the industry increase starch conversion by 5%.

The US is the biggest biofuel producer in the world, with corn ethanol production expected to reach 13.3 billion gallons in 2012.



A 2.5% to 5% gain is not enough to justify the use of edible feed stock to produce liquid fuel for our gas guzzlers.

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