June 6, 2012 - Royal DSM, the global Life Sciences and Materials Sciences company, has been qualified as supplier of enzymes for DONG Energy - Inbicon’s wheat straw to cellulosic ethanol process. The enzymes have been successfully used in the demonstration scale biorefinery of DONG Energy - Inbicon in Kalundborg, Denmark. The qualification reconfirms the high standard and flexibility of DSM’s cocktail of enzymes to break down and convert the cellulose and hemicellulose from the straw fibers into simple C5 and C6 sugars. DONG Energy - Inbicon Biomass Refinery is the world’s largest scale cellulosic ethanol demonstration plant that is currently in operation. The plant has a capacity of 1.5 million gallons a year and produces cellulosic biofuel for Statoil which is distributed via gasoline stations throughout Denmark.
DSM’s enzyme cocktail is particularly effective at breaking down cellulosic biomass to component sugars while having a very high thermal stability. Because of this the hydrolysis step can be performed at higher temperatures, while decreasing the risk of product loss. Higher operating temperatures also increase process speed and ultimately lead to a reduction of the amount of enzyme needed.
DSM’s enzymes have been proven in multiple tests at various scales by research institutes and company labs across the globe to be working across multiple feedstocks, including corn crop residue, wheat straw, wood chips and sugarcane bagasse. They have also been tested on the full range of pre-treatment, from very harsh to relatively mild (as is the case in the Inbicon process), giving supportive evidence to the versatility of the DSM enzyme system. The break down or pre-treatment of crop residue is the first phase of the conversion process towards cellulosic bio-ethanol.
DSM selected its enzymes using the biomass as the starting point for the selection process. These are substrates that are expected to be commercially leading in future production of cellulosic bio-ethanol.
Jan Larsen, head of R&D Inbicon, says: “The DSM enzyme cocktail has performed successfully in the Inbicon process at demonstration scale. It showed the same high yield as was obtained in pilot scale. This cocktail has both a broad pH range and high temperature tolerance which make DSM’s enzymes very favorable for industrial production of cellulosic bio-ethanol at high dry matters. The technical reports and analysis from the test program are now finalized and we conclude that the DSM enzymes are now qualified for the Inbicon process”
Stephan Tanda, member of the DSM Managing Board, comments: “We are proud to receive Inbicon’s endorsement of our enzymes technology. This additional qualification strengthens DSM’s global enzyme position and confirms our drive to being a technology partner for cellulosic bio-ethanol producing companies across the globe. DSM offers the broadest technology currently available in the market, with high performing enzymes and yeasts that are able to convert a large variety of biomass into cellulosic ethanol.”
About Royal DSM
Royal DSM is a global science-based company active in health, nutrition and materials. By connecting its unique competences in Life Sciences and Materials Sciences DSM is driving economic prosperity, environmental progress and social advances to create sustainable value for all stakeholders. DSM delivers innovative solutions that nourish, protect and improve performance in global markets such as food and dietary supplements, personal care, feed, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, automotive, paints, electrical and electronics, life protection, alternative energy and bio-based materials. DSM’s 22,000 employees deliver annual net sales of around €9 billion. The company is listed on NYSE Euronext. More information can be found at www.dsm.com
About Dong Energy - Inbicon A/S
Inbicon A/S develops technology for conversion and refining of soft ligno-cellulosic biomass into fuel, feed, and green chemistry products. The company has operated a pilot plant since 2003, and in December 2009 the first Inbicon Biomass Refinery was inaugurated in Kalundborg, Denmark, to demonstrate the technology. The plant converts wheat straw into fuel grade ethanol, animal feed, and lignin pellets for energy production. Inbicon is a subsidiary of DONG Energy A/S and organized under the business unit New Bio Solutions. More information can be found at www.inbicon.com and www.dongenergy.com