Novozymes and Ceres Partner on Biofuel Crops

Ceres sorghumMixing enzyme cocktails and customized biofuel crops to make cellulosic ethanol a reality is the goal of a new industry partnership.

Energy crop company Ceres, Inc. and enzyme provider Novozymes have announced a research collaboration to co-develop customized plant varieties and enzyme cocktails to improve the efficiency of converting biomass to fuel.

“According to the Billion Ton Study by the US Department of Energy, one third of the total sustainably collected biomass potential from agricultural resources can come from perennial crops”, said Cynthia Bryant, Global Biomass Business Development Manager of Novozymes.

Ceres and Novozymes will initially work to determine the best enzyme cocktails for the biorefining of Ceres’ commercial switchgrass seed products. The partners will also begin similar evaluations of sweet sorghum, and Ceres’ researchers plan to develop customized plant varieties that can be degraded more easily by Novozymes’ enzymes.