Denmark's world-leading enzyme manufacturer Novozymes is expanding its research activities in California, USA, in "white biotech" as well as in second generation biofuel. Einer Beck Jensen, head of Novozymes' American operations says:
"The high oil price opens up opportunities that we have not previously looked at, that is chemicals which can be made via fermentation instead of using petrochemical resources. We will build up a strong group to look at the building blocks of the petrochemical industry, or what we call metabolic engineering. We will also expand the research group that focuses on biofuel."
One of the focus areas for Novozymes is to use starch instead of conventional petrochemicals for the production of polyester. "We have not been so active on 'white biotech', but there have been public funded studies which have looked at polyester production, studies that DuPont has continued work on. Since then, the oil price has increased three or fourfold, and now things look very different", says Beck Jensen.
Novozymes is working on a technology solution that tailor-make microorganisms which grow on glucose, thereby creating raw materials which the industry can use to produce various forms of polyester product.
Einer Beck Jensen says the industry is especially interested in five very important components used in production, some of which Novozymes is working on in its projects in the US in collaboration with partners from the petrochemical industry.
Novozymes Inc., which was established in 1992, is located in Davis, California. The company conducts research in identifying and engineering new industrial enzymes, as well as improving the manufacturing process for new and existing enzymes. Novozymes Inc. collaborates with other Novozymes research groups in Denmark, the United States, Japan and China, as well as with the University of California, Davis, and with other academic laboratories worldwide.
The news was reported by Business.dk.