Enzyme-producer Novozymes and cellulosic ethanol company Lignol Energy Corporation signed a research and development agreement to make biofuel from wood chips and other forestry residues. The partners aim to develop a process for making biofuel from forestry waste at a production cost down to $2 per gallon, a price competitive with gasoline and corn ethanol at the current US market prices.
The agreement between Lignol and Novozymes formalizes a Memorandum of Understanding between the partners from February 2010.
In February 2010, Novozymes launched its new Cellic CTec2 enzymes that enable commercial production of biofuel from plant waste. (Earlier post.)
Lignol uses a modified solvent based pre-treatment technology, originally developed by a former affiliate of General Electric, and then further developed and commercialized for wood-pulp applications by a subsidiary of Repap Enterprises Inc. (Earlier post.)
The technology produces a clean pulp that converts feedstock rapidly into fermentable sugars with high yield and lower enzyme costs. The process also produces co-products such as high-purity lignins with revenues that mitigate the costs of production and commodity risks.
The parties plan to use Lignol’s industrial pilot plant in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada to optimize both Lignol’s process and Novozymes’ enzymes on different types of forestry waste. Later, Lignol plans to construct large-scale biorefineries for the production of cellulosic biofuel from wood chips and forestry residues.
The progress we have achieved to date with enzymes from Novozymes is extremely promising and a successful outcome of this collaboration should position us to produce cellulosic ethanol from woody biomass profitably and without the need for long-term government subsidies.
—Lignol President and CEO, Ross MacLachlan