US Codexis’ new enzymes will lower bio-based chemical cost - official

08 December 2011 02:35  [Source: ICIS news]

NEW YORK (ICIS)--US industrial biotechnology firm Codexis introduced on 8 December its trademarked cellulosic enzymes CodeXyme that can convert biomass into sugar and will enable lower production costs for bio-based chemicals, a company official said on Wednesday.

Codexis will have commercial samples of the new cellulosic enzyme available for customers in the chemical industry by the second half of 2012, the official added.

The product launch marks Codexis’ entrance into the global cellulase enzyme market, said Alan Shaw, president and chief executive of Codexis during the company’s first investor day conference in New York, USA.

Shaw added that Dutch biotechnology company Novozymes is Codexis’ major competitor in the cellulase enzymes market.

Cellulase enzymes are the key component in production of sugars from cellulosic feedstock, such as bagasse, corn stover, wheat straw and sugar beet pulp.

“The introduction of cellulosic feedstock will dramatically alter the landscape for both biofuels and biobased chemicals,” Shaw said.

“With cellulosic sugars, they willl bring down input costs enabling a viable business model in biobased hydrocarbons,” Shaw added.

Codexis will manufacture CodeXyme both in-house and using toll manufacturers. The company increased its production to 20,000 litres this year at Fermic, a contract fermentation and synthesis company based in Mexico City, Mexico.

Codexis is planning to use the cellulase enzyme for the production of the trademarked sugar-based detergent alcohol Codexol, the company’s first industrial bio-based chemical product.

It will take about 3.7 tonnes of cellulosic sugar derived from 7.4 tonnes of biomass to produce a tonne of detergent alcohol, according to Codexis.

The company estimates the global market opportunity for cellulase enzymes for fuel and chemical use to reach $1bn (€750m) in 2015 and $10bn by 2020.

($1 = €0.75)

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Author: Doris Guzman

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