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Verenium and VPP Sign Agreement to Test C5 Cellulosic Technology on Pulping Feedstocks for the Production of Ethanol

Cellulosic ethanol and specialty enzyme company Verenium Corporation has entered into an agreement with Value Prior to Pulping (VPP), an organization created by the Agenda 2020 Technology Alliance, a special project of the American Forest and Paper Association, and CleanTech Partners, Inc., to test the effectiveness of Verenium’s C5 technology for the creation of cellulosic ethanol from the hemicelluloses generated by the pulp and paper process, creating higher value products without negatively impacting paper quality.

VPP is funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE), the State of Wisconsin and several large forest products companies.

It is estimated that a typical 1,500 ton-per-day kraft mill could produce approximately 15 million gallons of ethanol annually. The total potential market opportunity is estimated to be between 1.5 and 2 billion gallons of ethanol per year.

We believe these types of opportunities to bolt our technology onto existing industrial processes, where the feedstock sourcing, handling and processing are already well-established, and are complementary to our core biofuels strategy.

—Carlos A. Riva, President and Chief Executive Officer of Verenium



Ethanol sells at a good price, but when commodity futures speculators got in the corn market, ethanol makers were in a bind. This is what happens when you are dependent on ONE source for inputs to your process. I hope the cellulose ethanol industry does very well very soon, for all of our sakes.


BP & Verenium created the Vercipia joint venture, with its headquarters to be established in Florida (http://www.bp.com/genericarticle.do?categoryId=4705&contentId=7055225). I heard that water for irrigation was going to be a limiting factor for the large number of cellulosic ethanol projects in the works in central and southern florida, since their aquifers are being depleted from the voracious appetite of public water supply & also experiencing saltwater intrusion. Perhaps Verenium is up to speed on these kinds of constraints & therefore wants to diversify its feedstock.

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