Novozymes, Fiberight to make biofuel from paper

By Luke Geiver
Posted Feb. 2, 2010, at 4:18 p.m. CST

Novozymes Inc., has partnered with Fiberight LLC, to produce advanced biofuel made from government office waste paper and cardboard. The companies unveiled the new fuel at the 2010 Washington Auto Show held Jan. 27-31. For the show, the "transhanol," as CEO of Fiberight Craig Stuart-Paul calls it, was used in two demonstration vehicles. A flex-fuel Ford F-150 and a Chevrolet HHR were both available in a Ride 'n Drive event allowing government VIPs and media officials to test drive the E85 waste-powered cars.

"The advanced biofuels showcased here today demonstrate that the enzyme technology is ready for market," said Adam Monroe, president of Novozymes, North America. "What we need now is commercialization and deployment of advanced biofuels in order to help meet our country's most pressing energy and environment challenges."

According to Novozymes, after a sequence of pulping, pretreatment and wash, the office waste products are broken down by enzymes and turned into the biofuel. The enzymes used for the biofuel are the Cellic CTec and the HTec. Both the CTec and HTec present stable formulations for the hydrolysis of lignocellulosic materials. During the show, the feedstock paper which looks like shredded cardboard, was on display.

Staurt-Paul says the decision by Fiberight to partner with Novozymes was based on the need for a company to supply commercial quantities of enzymes. Along with the need for high volume, Stuart-Paul also noted Novozymes willingness to work with Fiberight technology and the CTec and HTec enzymes quality and reactivity to their substrates and enzyme recycling processes as a reason for the partnership.

The typical family of four, according to Staurt-Paul, produces enough waste in one year to make fuel to drive 8,000 miles. "We're talking about waste that otherwise would be burned or go into a hole in the ground," he said. For Novozymes, the company sees the partnership as a step in the right direction, a step they feel shows that commercial enzymes needed for the production of advanced biofuels is a reality now.

"Biofuels have a tremendous future for energy security, jobs and sustainable fuel," Monroe said, "If it's going to happen, it comes down to enzymes."

Fiberight, based out of Maryland, Virginia, and Iowa, currently has a pilot cellulosic ethanol plant in Blairstown, Iowa, that could eventually produce 10MMgy of cellulosic ethanol.