02 May 2012 05:01 [Source: ICIS news]
ORLANDO, Florida (ICIS)--DuPont does not intend to become a producer of biofuels, James Collins, president of DuPont Industrial Biosciences, said on Tuesday.
Instead, the US-based diversified chemicals company will license its technology; work with licensees to help optimise their supply chain and plant operations; and supply the associated enzymes and DuPont’s unique ethanologen, a yeast that digests C5 and C6 sugars.
Collins discussed the strategy during an interview at the World Congress of Industrial Biotechnology and Bioprocessing in Orlando, Florida.
DuPont plans to build a 28m gallon/year bioethanol facility, he said, but it will serve primarily to demonstrate the feasibility of the new cellulosic technology.
“We’re going to build the first one because we think we have to show the world that it can be done,” Collins explained.
DuPont announced on Tuesday that it has chosen US-based industrial contractor Fagen to manage the project, which will be located in Nevada city, Iowa, US.
Fagen has built 60% of the ethanol production capacity in the US, as well as multiple wind, solar and power projects, the contractor said in a joint statement with DuPont.
US-based engineering firm KBR is already executing the front-end engineering, procurement and detailed engineering design work. Construction will begin this year, and the plant is expected to start operating in late 2013 or early 2014.
Collins believes the technology will provide licensees with the lowest cost per unit volume in the industry, owing to DuPont’s ability to optimise every element inhouse.
“We think we have an advantage, in that we've designed both the hardware and the ‘software’ to work together,” he said. “The enzymes were tailored to work with the equipment. So, as we've tweaked the design of the plant, we've been able to go back and optimise the enzyme.”
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