USDA Deregulates Corn Trait for Ethanol

SyngentaSyngenta Seeds announced today it has received full deregulation from USDA for corn amylase (Event 3272), the first corn output trait designed to help ethanol industry become more efficient, profitable and environmentally friendly.

According to a company release, Syngenta Seeds plans to sell corn containing Event 3272 under the “Enogen” seed brand. “Enogen corn is a breakthrough product that provides ethanol producers a proven means to create more value per gallon while offering targeted corn growers an opportunity to cultivate a premium specialty crop in a contracted, closed production system,” said David Morgan, president of Syngenta Seeds. “Also, Enogen corn can substantially reduce the energy and water consumed and the carbon emissions associated with ethanol production.”

The Enogen corn amylase trait is the first genetically modified output trait in corn for the ethanol industry. By enabling expression of an optimized alpha-amylase enzyme directly in corn, the Enogen trait improves dry grind ethanol production in a way that can be easily integrated into an ethanol production plant’s existing infrastructure. Further, Enogen corn is another innovative product that can provide the right growers more choice for their farms and help keep rural communities strong.

“The adoption of Enogen grain by U.S. ethanol producers can unleash a cascade of efficiency and environmental benefits industry wide,” said Morgan. For example, in a 100-million gallon plant, efficiency improvements enabled by Enogen grain can save 450,000 gallons of water, 1.3 million KWh of electricity and 244 billion BTUs of natural gas, the equivalent power to heat several thousand homes while reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 106 million pounds.

Enogen grain has been tested extensively at Western Plains Energy (WPE), in Oakley, KS. The most visible result for WPE has been an eight percent increase in ethanol production combined with an eight percent reduction in natural gas consumption. “What that means for us is more profits, with less expense,” said general manager and CEO Steve McNinch, “And there are no ‘gotchas’ for the plant either.”

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