DSM Enzymes for Cellulosic Ethanol Qualified by DONG Energy
(DSM) 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. READ MORE