DuPont and Broin Partner to Advance Development of Ethanol From Cellulosic Biomass
Two technology leaders in the growing biofuels industry, DuPont and Broin, today announced a partnership in the United States to take the next steps needed to bring cost-effective ethanol derived from corn stover to market.
“We are pleased to partner with Broin, a company that is regarded as a technology expert in biorefining,” said DuPont Executive Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer Thomas M. Connelly. “We have worked over the last three years to develop a technology package that can efficiently break down the complex sugar matrix found in corn stover into ethanol from cellulose at a high yield. We are excited about the progress we have made and, while we still have to complete more research, we are ready to take the next steps to bring cellulosic ethanol to market. This is further demonstration of DuPont’s commitment to bring to market renewably sourced materials that reduce global reliance on petroleum.”
“The partnership between Broin and DuPont brings together much of the needed technology that is important to the future development of cellulose to ethanol,” Mike Muston, Broin’s executive vice president of corporate development said. “The ability to combine the global science of DuPont with Broin’s ethanol production technology puts us in position to make the commercialization of cellulose to ethanol a reality much sooner.”
Since 2003, DuPont and the U.S. Department of Energy have jointly funded a four-year research program to develop technology to convert corn stover into ethanol. The Integrated Corn-Based BioRefinery (ICBR) is aligned with DuPont’s strategy to develop new innovations that can convert energy crops, such as grasses, and agricultural byproducts, such as straw and corn stalks, into biofuels and other renewably sourced materials. Partners in this research program include DuPont and its subsidiary Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., the Diversa Corporation, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Michigan State University and Deere & Company.
The Integrated BioRefinery technology will significantly increase the amount of ethanol per acre achievable by using both the corn grain and stover. DuPont’s “first in class” fermentation process, developed with its partners, allows high conversion of both C-6 glucose sugars and the difficult to ferment C-5 xylose sugars to ethanol at high yields. The Integrated BioRefinery technology uses a microorganism called Zymomonas mobilis to make these conversions. In nature, this organism lives in solutions of high sugar concentrations, such as those derived from fruits and the sugar sap of plants, and so is well-suited for highly efficient conversion of sugar.
Broin and the U.S. Department of Energy jointly funded a five-year research initiative to develop and improve dry mill fractionation with the assistance of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and South Dakota State University . The project provided for the commercialization of Broin’s fractionation technology, or “BFrac™”, which together with Broin’s raw starch hydrolysis process (BPX™), creates the foundation for biorefining in the future. The results of BFrac™ include producing higher ethanol yields, but more importantly it creates additional value-added products and streams – including the intended use of fiber in the production of cellulose to ethanol.
Broin is a highly specialized and integrated technology development, production, and marketing company with more than 20 years in the biorefining industry. The company has a history of advanced ethanol and biorefining process development and is widely recognized for its ability to successfully commercialize innovative bio-technologies.
As the largest dry mill ethanol producer in the United States , Broin currently manages 18 plants in five states with five more projects under construction. The company is committed to enhancing opportunities for rural America , as currently more than 9,000 farm families have invested in Broin projects to date.
DuPont is a world leader in the development and manufacturing of high-performance materials that provide environmentally sustainable solutions utilizing renewable, farm-grown feedstocks rather than petroleum. The power of DuPont’s scientific capabilities, including state-of-the-art biotechnology and bio-based manufacturing processes, are being harnessed to meet the needs of both customers and society.
DuPont is a science company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture, nutrition, electronics, communications, safety and protection, home and construction, transportation and apparel.