DuPont and Genencor, a division of Danish enzymes manufacturer Danisco A/S, have announced an agreement to form DuPont Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol LLC, a 50/50 global JV to develop and commercialize technology for the production of cellulosic (or 2nd generation) ethanol, which is produced from non-food sources such as wheat straw, sugar cane bagasse, corn stover and wood chips.
The pair plan an initial USD 140m investment over three years, targeting corn stover and sugar cane bagasse. Future targets include wheat straw, energy crops and other biomass sources.
DuPont Chairman and CEO Charles Holliday says in a press release: “With food and gas prices surging at double-digit rates, there is an imperative for sustainable biofuels technologies. This joint venture addresses this issue head on.”
Danisco CEO Tom Knutzen comments: “By combining the world-class capabilities of DuPont and Danisco, our joint venture will offer the technology standard for cellulosic ethanol production," and adds that the JV represents 'a major step forward' in Danisco’s strategic ambitions.
DuPont Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol LLC will integrate the cellulosic processing capabilities of both partners, and will license their combined existing intellectual property and patents related to cellulosic ethanol. The first pilot plant is expected to be operational in the US in 2009, and a demonstration facility operational within three years.