Frost & Sullivan Lauds Genencor for its Innovative Product Line of Enzymes That Address Key Challenges in the Biofuel Industry

Jan 13, 2010, 09:00 ET from Frost & Sullivan

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Jan. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Based on its recent analysis of the biofuel enzymes market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes Genencor, Inc., a division of Danisco, with the 2009 Frost & Sullivan New Product Innovation Award for its Accellerase® product line of enzymes. As a response to the challenges of converting cellulosic biomass to ethanol, Genencor introduced Accellerase® 1000 in 2007, and has since then succeeded in developing specific technologies for biomass hydrolysis.

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The most recent addition to the product line, Accellerase® 1500 enzyme complex is a highly effective but less expensive option for the bioethanol industry. Additionally, three new accessory products have been introduced; Accellerase® XY, Accellerase® XC, and Accellerase®  BG, which are designed for small-scale process development. When used with the Accellerase® 1500 or other whole cellulases, these enzymes result in improved lignocellulosic conversion.

"Accellerase 1500 has been designed to offer a cost-effective, commercial-scale production of second generation cellulosic ethanol, other biofuels and biochemicals," says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Christina Priya Dhanuja. "Consequently, the development of this product is expected to facilitate large scale production of biofuels and thereafter the commercial reality of biorefineries."

Genencor's technology is feedstock-flexible and can thus work on an assortment of agricultural/forest residue and bioenergy crops - a significant advantage for an industry in which newer raw materials are aggressively being explored. The technology works for all the major pretreatment processes, and is also product flexible – the sugars produced may be used to produce ethanol, other biofuels such as butanol, or even biochemicals from biomass.

Armed with a potent combination of enzymes, Accellerase® 1500 effectively modifies the structural material of lignocellulosic biomass. As a result of this modification, an efficient and a synergistic hydrolysis of the biomass into fermentable sugars is brought about. In comparison with other commercially available cellulases, Accellerase® 1500 contains higher levels of beta-glucosidase activity, which ensures almost a complete conversion of cellobiose to glucose and faster ethanol fermentation. For the benefit of the refiner, this property helps attain higher ethanol yields and facilitate effective operation for a variety of processes; all the while maintaining high process economics.

Although the biofuels industry is regarded as one of the fastest growing in the world today, there are only a few enzyme companies that research technologies which are capable of long-term sustainability. In this context, Genencor's product and technology development is clearly distinguished. The company has an open innovation process in which it works closely with process developers; thereby hastening the transition from lab to marketplace. By leveraging some of the most innovative aspects of cellulosic technology, Accellerase® 1500 has been engineered to operate in simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) processes, two-step sequential hydrolysis and fermentation (SHF) processes, or hybrid saccharification and fermentation (HSF) processes. The enzyme technology features improved formulation, which helps reduce the risk of inhibition of fermentative organisms and especially so in high solid fermentations. Also, the formulation does not interfere with saccharification carbohydrate profile analysis.

"Without a doubt, the features and benefits of the Accellerase product line has been developed with the customer in mind," continues Dhanuja. "Owing to its feedstock and pretreatment flexibility, better process economics, accessory products, and versatility, it sure sets an industrial standard for process developers and plant designers."

Overall, capitalizing both on its technology's performance features and its experience in enzyme development, Genencor is expected to set a benchmark in the biofuels industry. Mainly because Accellerase® 1500 is developed to address the key challenge of poor process economics, it has a higher customer acquisition potential than current technologies. This is especially due to its flexibility for raw materials, pretreatments, and plants scales.  It is positioned to attract traditional fossil fuel refiners who are steadily transitioning into the biofuels market.

For these achievements, Genencor is the worthy recipient of the 2009 Frost & Sullivan Award for New Product Innovation in the biofuel enzymes domain. Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to one company that has successfully leveraged leading-edge technologies to bring out a highly innovative element in a product. The pioneering product offers multiple benefits to the industry, added value to the customer, and increases the customer acquisition and market penetration potential of the company.

Frost & Sullivan's Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.

About Genencor

Genencor was founded in 1982 as a joint venture between Genentech and Corning Glassworks to develop and commercialize the industrial applications of protein engineering. Today, having been acquired by Danisco in the year 2005, it stands to be one of the largest global industrial biotechnology companies. As an indicator of its innovative and ground-breaking technologies developed over the past 25 years, Genencor boasts a long list of "firsts." Notably, in the year 2000, the company received a $17 million grant from the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to develop low-cost cellulase and other enzymes for the production of ethanol from biomass.

Genencor primarily discovers, develops, manufactures, and delivers eco-friendly enzyme solutions for the agri-processing, cleaning and textiles, food and feed, consumer, and industrial markets. Additionally, the company's innovative advancements are well established in the biofuels, biodefense, and biosafety industries. Also, Genencor has made sustainability a centerpiece of its business strategy by providing many green solutions. With regard to collaborations, the company boasts of strategic alliances with industry leaders across a wide variety of markets.

About Frost & Sullivan

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Contact:

Jake Wengroff

210.247.3806

jake.wengroff@frost.com



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