DuPont seals deal to develop sorghum as alternative feedstock

04 January 2012 15:34  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--DuPont has agreed to work with biofuels firm NexSteppe on developing sweet sorghum and high biomass sorghum hybrids as feedstocks for bio-based products, officials said on Wednesday.

Under the deal, DuPont made an equity investment in California-based NexSteppe and will, through its Pioneer Hi-Bred business, provide resources and technologies to help NexSteppe breed and commercialise new hybrids of sorghum crops in the US and Brazil.

Financial details were not disclosed.

Anna Rath, CEO of NexSteppe, said sorghum has "significant genetic diversity and great potential" but has received relatively little research attention and funding so far.

With DuPont's research and development capabilities, NexSteppe would be able to rapidly improve the crop to produce feedstocks for the biofuels, biopower and biobased products industries, Rath added.

Sweet sorghum can be used as a complement to sugarcane in existing Brazilian sugar-to-ethanol mills, and as a feedstock for advanced biofuels and other biobased products produced from sugars. 

High biomass sorghum is a high-yielding crop that can be used as a feedstock for biopower and cellulosic biofuels. 

Check out Doris de Guzman’s Green Chemicals Blog for views on sustainability issues

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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