Engineering News

Ethanol From Paper Pulp: Genencor Announces
French Government Funded Project

Monday May 1, 4:00 pm ET

PALO ALTO, Calif., May 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Genencor International, a subsidiary of Danisco A/S, today announced its participation in a research consortium to develop economic ethanol production from paper pulp through the use of know-how and infrastructure of the French forest products industry. The 1.2 million euros project is sponsored by the French National Research Program for Bioenergy (PNRB, ANR) and managed by ADEME. The French National Research Agency will provide 50% of the funding to the partners. Besides Genencor, other partners include: Tembec R&D Kraft, INSA Toulouse's Laboratory for Biotechnology & Bioprocessing, and the University of Bordeaux's Pine Institute. The Pine Institute is the project leader and coordinator.

The project's objective is to deliver at the end of its three-year term, a baseline study of the technical and economic results of a small pilot plant installed at a pulp mill with a special focus on waste minimization of the milling process.

Genencor will provide its advanced biomass cellulases and application expertise to optimize the enzymatic hydrolysis of various paper pulp samples provided by Tembec and the Pine Institute. In addition to providing substrate samples, Tembec will also analyze the economics to evaluate the system for commercial deployment by the pulp industry. INSA's Laboratory for Biotechnology and Bioprocessing will provide fermentation expertise through its Microbiology Engineering Team. The Pine Institute will share its expertise in pulping and handling; and, in lignocellulose analysis and characterization.

"This is an excellent project to establish the viability of an advanced cellulosic biorefinery for ethanol production," said Jack Huttner, vice president of Genencor. "Genencor has been working at the bench scale in lab conditions on one part of the technical challenge. This project links us with others in the value chain to integrate several unit operations into a whole system-level design. This is a critical step in the development of advanced biorefineries attached to the paper pulp industry."

"France is one of the leaders in the forest product industry and in related technical applications research," said Jean-Claude Pommier, Executive President of the Strategic Committee at the Institut du Pin -- Universite de Bordeaux. "We believe adding a biorefinery capacity to the paper pulp industry will be a sustainable innovation that will have broad impact. We appreciate ANR's support and anticipate making a significant contribution to the field."

About TEMBEC. Tembec is a leading integrated forest products company, with extensive operations in North America and France. With sales of approximately $3.8 billion and some 10,000 employees, it operates 50 market pulp, paper and wood product manufacturing units, and produces silvichemicals from by-products of its pulping process and specialty chemicals. Tembec markets its products worldwide and has sales offices in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, China, Korea, Japan, and Chile. The Company also manages 40 million acres of forest land in accordance with sustainable development principles and has committed to obtaining Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification for all forests under its care. The Tembec Pulp Group consists of eleven business units, with products divided between kraft pulp, high yield pulp and specialty cellulose pulp. Total annual capacity from our pulp mills in Canada and France has grown to over 2.4 million tonnes, making Tembec one of the top 3 market pulp producers in the world. Tembec R&D Kraft is the research centre of Tembec Pulp Group located in south of France and dedicated to kraft pulp.

About INSA-Toulouse. INSA-Toulouse is a Grande Ecole for Engineers. With 11 distinguished research laboratories and nine different PhD programs, INSA is at the forefront of applications research and engineering. INSA's Laboratory for Biotechnology and Bioprocessing specializes in industrial microbiology and biocatalysis. It is closely linked with the Regional Center of Innovation and Technology Transfer (CRITT) a technology park and incubator company for the Midi-Pyrenees region.

About the Institute du Pin. Affiliated with the University of Bordeaux, the Institute du Pin is a technical research center conducting important research on wood material, wood chemistry, paper and chemical analysis. Applications research in wood by-products, materials composites and environmental analysis is highly regarded around the world.

About Genencor. Genencor International, a division of Danisco A/S, is a leading industrial biotechnology company that develops innovative enzymes and bioproducts to improve the performance and reduce the environmental impact of the cleaning, textiles, fuels and chemicals industries.

Source: Genencor International

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