DuPont, Genencor agree cellulosic ethanol JV

14 May 2008 14:54  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS news)--DuPont is setting up a joint venture with Genencor, a division of Denmark’s food ingredient producer Danisco, to tap the $75bn (€49bn) market for biofuels from non-food feedstock, the US chemicals major said on Wednesday.


The 50:50 US-based DuPont Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol venture would develop and commercialise leading, low-cost technology for the production of cellulosic ethanol, with first commercial volumes expected by 2012, DuPont said.


The partners plan an initial three-year investment of $140m, first targeting corn stover and sugar cane bagasse as feedstocks.


Future targets include ligno-cellulosic feedstocks such as wheat straw, a variety of energy crops and other biomass sources.


A first pilot plant was expected to be operational in the US in 2009, and a first commercial-scale demonstration facility was expected to be operational within the next three years, DuPont said.


DuPont Danisco’s technology could be used both as a bolt-on to an existing ethanol plant - expanding its capacity to accept cellulosic feedstocks - or as the design basis for a stand-alone cellulosic ethanol facility, it said.


With both food and gasoline prices surging at double-digit rates, there was an imperative for sustainable biofuels technologies, said DuPont CEO Charles Holliday.


“This joint venture addresses this issue head-on," he said.


"By integrating our companies' strengths and expertise in this new venture, we are significantly increasing the potential to make cellulosic ethanol from multiple non-food sources an economic reality around the world."


($1 = €0.65)


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