Danish enzymes manufacturer Novozymes has entered development partnerships with two Brazilian biochemical companies, Braskem and Cetrel, with a view to exploiting sugar cane as a potential replacement for oil, writes financial daily newspaper Børsen.
In partnership with Braskem, Novozymes will explore ways of producing the important polyolefin plastic polypropylene from sugar cane. Polypropylene is used in a vast array of applications, and has an estimated global market value of approx. USD 66bn. The partnership with Cetrel will focus on making biogas and electricity from bagasse, the fibrous waste remaining after sugar has been extracted from sugar cane.
Thomas Videbæk, director of the biobusiness area at Novozymes, told Børsen: "Both agreements are ultimately about being able to use sugar as 'the new oil'. We are seeking to combine our competences with market leaders in different areas. The aim is to get microorganisms to produce various feedstock chemicals that can replace oil-based production with bio-based production.
Headquartered in Bagsværd on the outskirts of Copenhagen, Novozymes is a world leader in bioinnovation with over 700 products sold in 130 countries. The company has over 6,000 patents, and employs more than 5,000 people in research, production and sales around the world. Novozymes is quoted on the OMX Nordic Exchange Copenhagen.