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Novozymes and Fiberight Showcase Ethanol Produced from Waste Office Paper and Cardboard in Drive Demonstration in Washington

At the Washington Auto Show, Novozymes, in partnership with US-based advanced biofuel manufacturer Fiberight, demonstrated two flex-fuel vehicles—a Chevy HHR and a Ford F150—running on E85, with the ethanol produced from government office waste paper and waste cardboard.

Novozymes’ multi-year research and development efforts have resulted in an enzyme cocktail that can now be used to make advanced biofuel from agricultural residues, municipal waste and energy crops. After a sequence of pulping, pre-treatment and wash, enzymes from Novozymes turn the paper and cardboard waste into sugars that are then fermented into biofuel.

Novozymes has received two contracts from the DOE for its research efforts to bring down the cost of enzymes and improve their efficiency in converting cellulose to biofuels. The first contract for $2.2 million was given in 2002, and the second for $12.3 million was given in 2008.

As a result of this work, Novozymes has been able to achieve significant reductions in enzyme costs over the years, notably a 50% reduction announced in 2009. Most recently, the company received a $28.4 million tax credit toward the construction of its enzyme manufacturing facility in Blair, Nebraska. Novozymes this year will begin producing enzymes for commercial, large-scale production of advanced biofuels.

Fiberight has developed a proprietary extraction and processing technology for non-recyclable municipal solid waste (MSW). Fiberight’s facilities operate at low temperatures in a closed-loop system, resulting in very low levels of emissions or effluents. The fuel extraction process includes:

  1. Pre-sorting and pulping
  2. Pretreatment
  3. Secondary treatment
  4. Primary digestion
  5. Solids separation and enzyme recovery
  6. Fermentation
  7. Distillation and dehydration
  8. Water treatment and water recovery
  9. Finished biofuel and products
The Fiberight process. Click to enlarge.


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