ADM, DuPont partner to produce and market cellulose enzyme

USA – Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM), the global food processing and commodities trading corporation has announced a collaboration with DuPont Industrial Biosciences to develop, produce and market cellulose enzymes for operators of grain-based ethanol plants.

According to ADM, cellulose enzymes assist in hydrolysing the corn kernel fiber, which consists mostly of cellulose and hemicellulose carbohydrates, liberating more sugars which can then be fermented into ethanol.

As a result, it helps grain-based fuel ethanol producers realise higher yields out of existing feedstocks.

As corn kernel fiber is part of a lower-value co-product stream, the potential to develop more valuable “Gen 1.5” ethanol is attractive.

Ethanol from corn kernel fiber may qualify for D3 RINS under the Renewable Fuel Standard, which encourages producers to use technology in order to utilize non-starch components of grains and other waste products in the production of biofuels.

“The industry is looking increasingly at enzyme-based tools to boost yields and produce additional ethanol without having to make significant capital investments, and we look forward to working with DuPont to help deliver solutions in this space,” said Collin Benson, ADM’s vice president of bioactives.

Commenting on the matter, Troy Wilson, DuPont Industrial Biosciences’ global industry leader of grain processing said, ““We’re thrilled to add yet another significant pillar in our partnership with ADM.

We are already working together in high performance renewable bio-materials; now this agreement brings together substantial resources and capabilities in the pursuit of new innovations for grain-based biofuels.”

ADM said product prototypes have proven successful in both laboratory and ethanol plant scale testing, and more evaluations are planned.

Elsewhere, the two companies collaborated to open the world’s first bio-based furan dicarboxylic methyl ester (FDME) pilot production facility in Decatur, Illinois, U.S.

The companies then said the plant was the centrepiece of a long-standing collaboration that will help bring a greater variety of sustainably sourced biomaterials into the lives of consumers.

The new FDME technology produces fructose from corn in a more efficient and simple process and results in higher yields, lower energy usage and lower capital expenditures.

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