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Novozymes’ new Fortiva Hemi enables significant improvements in corn oil and 1G ethanol yields

Novozymes has expanded its portfolio of innovative enzyme solutions for the bioenergy industry with the launch of Fortiva Hemi. Fortiva Hemi brings novel enzymes to liquefaction that deliver greater than 10% oil yield improvement and up to 1% ethanol yield gain above Novozymes’ industry leading Fortiva Revo liquefaction solutions.

Liquefaction is the second step in the ethanol fuel production process, between grinding and saccharification. In this step, mash from corn or other starches is first cooked down to a gravy-like substance. Then, the liquefaction process begins with partial hydrolysis to lower its viscosity. This thinning process is helped along with enzymes called alpha-amylases, which break down longer starch chains into smaller ones. Once complete, the thinner liquid can begin the process of saccharification, one of the final steps needed to produce ethanol fuel.

Fortiva Hemi is the first enzyme solution designed to act specifically upon the corn fiber matrix during liquefaction, creating the opportunity for improved starch and fat conversion to ethanol and oil, respectively, without creating undesirable sugars that can cause fouling. Effective across the broadest pH and temperature ranges, it is also the most flexible liquefaction solution available to ethanol producers.

Corn input costs remain the highest variable cost for fuel ethanol producers, and failure to convert all that is available in corn means lost opportunity and profit. Fortiva Hemi enables utilization of a previously untapped potential in corn conversion, creating the opportunity for more than 10% corn oil yield increase and up to 1% additional ethanol yield, enhancing profit in a difficult fuel ethanol market.

—Brian Brazeau, Novozymes’ Vice President, Agricultural & Industrial Biosolutions, Americas

Fuel ethanol plants have previously only been able to achieve on average 40% efficiency in extracting available corn oil, but greater than 95% efficiency in converting starch to ethanol. Fortiva Hemi acts upon the fiber matrix during liquefaction, creating the potential for improved fat and starch conversion that lead to oil and ethanol yield previously inaccessible. This newly freed substrate is then converted using Novozymes’ highest yielding enzyme blends to once again improve ethanol production efficiency.

The new enzyme solution can work at high temperature liquefactions (195 °F/91 °C), across a wide pH range, and is ideal for the operational conditions of all plants.

Novozymes believes that increasing the efficiency of corn oil extraction could be significant in advancing bioethanol production.

Fortiva Hemi is a drop-in liquefaction technology and builds on the operational flexibility that our customers have come to expect and value. It is expected to create a new standard for corn oil yield in the bioenergy industry that exceeds 10% higher oil yield. Novozymes focuses across the full spectrum of ethanol processing and, making available some of the most advanced biology ever developed, aims to advance the market’s push for more sustainable, renewable energy.

—Brain Brazeau

Fortiva Hemi will be immediately available globally, along with the rest of Novozymes’ Fortiva liquefaction products already proven to be the highest performing liquefaction solutions in the biofuel industry.

The novel enzymes of Fortiva Hemi were specifically designed for use in 1G biofuels to capture only the desirable traits of the technology, making them unique to all other enzymes available in the 1G liquefaction space. Novozymes continues to invest in 1G innovation to unlock additional value for the industry.


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