Genencor wins sustainable energy award for Accellerase cellulosic ethanol enzymes

Posted November 9, 2009, at 1:03 p.m. CST

Genencor, a division of Danisco, has won the national Sustainable Energy Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) for its Accellerase family of enzymes for cellulosic ethanol. On Nov. 8, Robert Davis, Chair of the AIChE Awards committee, presented the award to Landon Steele, who is marketing director, biomass enzymes and Accellerase product manager, and Aaron Kelley, who is senior engineer, biomass applications and Accellerase 1500 project leader, at the honors ceremony of the AIChE annual meeting at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville.

The AIChE Sustainable Energy Award recognizes the critical impact of chemistry and biochemistry innovations in developing sustainable energy solutions. The AIChE is the world's leading organization for chemical engineering professionals with more than 40,000 members from 93 countries. This is the first year AIChE presented a Sustainable Energy Award at its honors ceremony. "It's an honor for Aaron and me to accept this award from our peers on behalf of the entire Accellerase team," said Landon Steele, who is a chemical engineer. "We're proud to be part of a company that works tirelessly to improve outcomes in carbon impact and natural resource consumption."

"Genencor is pleased to receive recognition for playing a major role in accelerating the commercialisation of cellulosic ethanol and other biofuels and biochemicals that will significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions," said Philippe Lavielle, executive vice president of business development for Genencor. "We were the first to market with an enzyme for large-scale production of fuel from biomass, and this past April we launched our second-generation flagship product, Accellerase 1500 as well as three accessory products. We continue to innovate, and plan to release another new product in 2010."

Genencor set its vision many years ago to build the bioeconomy. "We are now seeing the results of our work being scaled up around the world, as pioneering early stage biorefineries start to come on line," Steele said. "We are supplying them at commercial scale today." A recent report by the WWF (World Wide Fund), titled Industrial biotechnology-more than green fuel in a dirty economy?, reports that industrial biotech could potentially save the planet up to 2.5 billion tons of carbon emissions.