DuPont Ventures Into Ethanol

DuPont and Genecor, a division of Danisco A/S, have created a cellulosic ethanol company.

The pair have formed DuPont Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol LLC, a 50/50 global joint venture to develop and commercialize the leading, low-cost technology solution for the production of cellulosic ethanol — a next generation biofuel produced from nonfood sources — to address a $75 billion global market opportunity.

The partners plan an initial three-year investment of $140 million (in U.S. dollars), which will initially target corn stover and sugarcane bagasse. Future targets include multiple ligno-cellulosic feedstocks including wheat straw, a variety of energy crops and other biomass sources.

“With food and gas prices surging at double-digit rates, there is an imperative for sustainable biofuels technologies,” says DuPont chairman and CEO Charles Holliday, Jr. “By integrating our companies’ strengths and expertise in this new venture, we are significantly increasing the potential to make cellulosic ethanol from multiple nonfood sources and economic reality around the world.”

Through the scientists and technologies of both companies, DuPont Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol LLC will launch an accelerated effort to integrate the unique cellulosic processing capabilities of both companies to economically produce ethanol from nonfood sources. The parent companies will license their combined existing intellectual property and patents related to cellulosic ethanol. The goal is to maximize efficiency and lower the overall system cost to produce a gallon of ethanol from cellulosic materials by optimizing the process steps into a single integrated technology solution.

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