Second generation ethanol

Enzyme costs are key to competitive 2G biorefineries

Celluloses and hemicelluloses are the main sources for second generation bioethanol. Sturdy material that needs chemical pre-treatment and a high amount of enzymes to be converted into the sugars needed for the fermentation to ethanol.

Over the last decades, the effort and progression in developing enzymes has been enormous and the enzyme costs per litre of ethanol have come down to a level that brings competitiveness to fossil fuels within reach. Unfortunately, the closer we get to perfection, the smaller are the steps forward.

We propose a different approach. Re-using the enzymes several times will lower the cost of enzyme per litre ethanol significantly. Not a new idea as such, but separation from the dirty process stream has been judged as a dealbreaker. This is our proposal: immobilize the enzyme cocktail as a ferromagnetic CLEA (mCLEA) with high saturation magnetization, remove the catalyst by magnetic attraction and subsequently recycle the catalyst. Our partners in this development, both enzyme manufacturers and technology providers, acknowledge that this will be a game changing technology.

You find more information on our mCLEA technology here

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Cape Town, South Africa