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Novozymes and DONG Energy strike waste sorting deal

June 30, 2016 – Novozymes will deliver enzymes for DONG Energy’s coming REnescience plant in Northwich in the northwest of England. It will be the first full-scale bio plant in the world capable of handling household waste by means of enzymes.

June 30, 2016
By Brandi Cowen

The role of enzymes in converting unsorted household waste into biogas. Novozymes will deliver enzymes for DONG Energy’s coming REnescience plant in Northwich in the northwest of England. It will be the first full-scale bio plant in the world capable of handling household waste by means of enzymes.

“It’s important to extract as many resources as possible from waste, and the enzymes are an important part of the process where we convert waste into green energy and recyclable material,” said Thomas Dalsgaard, executive vice-president with DONG Energy. “We’re pleased to enter into a partnership with Novozymes on setting up this type of plant.”

Today a large part of UK waste ends up in landfill sites. It is expensive and harmful to the environment. The REnescience plant in Northwich will ensure as much of the waste as possible is recycled and converted into biogas, which can again be converted into green power. The REnescience plant can sort 15 tonnes of waste per hour or 120,000 tonnes per year. This corresponds to the waste from almost 110,000 UK homes.

“Waste is a major problem for many urban areas around the world, but this technology turns the problem into a resource,” said Thomas Schrøder, vice-president with Novozymes. “Biorefineries like this, where trash is transformed into value, [are] an excellent example of circular economy in practice.”

Waste becomes valuable products
With the REnescience technology, ordinary unsorted household waste is mixed with water and enzymes in a large reactor. Then the actual chemical process starts and the enzymes dissolve all food waste, labels and similar types of organic waste, turning it into a liquid that can be used for biogas.


At the Northwich facility, the biogas will be used to generate around 5 MW of electricity – enough to power around 9,500 typical households.

The remaining part of the waste is plastic and metal, which can be recycled, and then there is a part that is converted into fuel.

Novozymes and DONG Energy have also agreed to further develop the enzymes for the technology together.

“The further development of the enzymes will help us to continuously optimize the process and, at the same time, extract even more valuable products from the waste. This is both good for the environment and useful in terms of reducing the costs of waste management. I’m pleased that together we’re also looking at the future prospects for this technology,” Dalsgaard said.

The REnescience plant is expected to be operational in early 2017. DONG Energy will finance, build and operate the plant and will also look into possibilities for building similar plants in other places around the world.

The enzyme supply agreement is a long-term non-exclusive agreement.

About REnescience
DONG Energy has developed the biotechnology REnescience, which converts unsorted municipal solid waste into valuable products for recycling. REnescience is a safe, reliable technology that has been working since 2009 at a demonstration plant in Copenhagen, Denmark. Through enzyme treatment, the technology is able to convert unsorted household waste into biogas as well as recyclable plastics and metals.

About DONG Energy
DONG Energy is one of the leading energy groups in Northern Europe, headquartered in Denmark. About 6,700 ambitious employees are engaged in developing, constructing and operating offshore wind farms, generating power and heat from power stations, providing energy to residential and business customers on a daily basis, and producing oil and gas. For further information, see
About Novozymes
Novozymes is a world leader in biological solutions. Together with customers, partners and the global community, the company works to improve industrial performance while preserving the planet’s resources and helping build better lives. As the world’s largest provider of enzyme and microbial technologies, its bioinnovation enables higher agricultural yields, low-temperature washing, energy-efficient production, renewable fuel and many other benefits today and in the future. For more information, visit

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