UPDATE 1-Novozymes teams with Petrobras for biofuel

* Enzymes firm to work with Petrobras on 2nd generation fuel

* Partnership aims to convert sugarcane bagasse into fuel

* Commercial scale plant could be established in a few years

(Adds details, quotes, background, byline)

By John Acher

COPENHAGEN, Oct 15 (BestGrowthStock) – Danish industrial enzymes
producer Novozymes (NZYMb.CO: ) will work with Brazil’s Petrobras
(PETR4.SA: ) to develop new methods of producing advanced
bioethanol from sugarcane bagasse, it said on Friday.

The deal covers the development of enzymes and production
processes to make second-generation cellulosic ethanol from
bagasse in an enzymatic process, Novozymes said in a statement.

“This is important because Petrobras is the main player in
Brazil of course and the kind of player that can drive these
things forward,” Novozymes bioenergy chief Poul Andersen told
Reuters.

Petrobras has been working on biochemical processes to
convert bagasse into ethanol since 2006, said Novozymes, which
is already working to develop enzymes for such second-generation
biofuel.

Sugarcane bagasse is a residue remaining after sugarcane
stalks are crushed to extract their juice, and it is abundantly
available in Brazil, the world’s biggest sugarcane producer.
Enzymes are used to break down biomass into sugars that can be
fermented into bioethanol.

Ethanol from bagasse is one of a number of second-generation
biofuels made from plant waste, including corn cobs, straw and
wood chips, instead of from food crops.

Such ethanol can be blended with gasoline to run cars just
like first-generation bioethanol.

Brazil currently has extraction capacity of about 600
million tonnes per year, currently yielding 27 billion liters (7
billion gallons) of ethanol, Novozymes said.

“It is estimated that bagasse-to-ethanol technology can
increase the country’s ethanol production by some 40 percent
without having to increase the crop area,” it said.

Andersen said Petrobras is currently building a
demonstration scale plant for bioethanol from bagasse so
Novozymes now joins a project already under way, he said.

“The first commercial plants could be up and running in a
few years,” Andersen said, adding that commercial scale could be
anything from a plant with capacity of 5 million to 20 million
gallons per year.

Andersen said the technological partnership would require no
capital expenditure by Novozymes but only research and
development outlays.

“We have an R&D unit dedicated to this in Brazil with a
handful of people,” he added.
(Editing by Hans Peters)

UPDATE 1-Novozymes teams with Petrobras for biofuel