Ethanol gets lower energy route

A novel enzyme technology eliminates the need for a cooking step in the fermentation of grains and other feedstocks into ethanol and so enables lower production costs and higher output, says its developer, Genencor International, Palo Alto, Calif., which has just introduced the first of a prospective line of such enzymes, dubbed Stargen. The enzymes convert granular or uncooked starch to fermentable sugars on a continuous basis through a simultaneous saccharification and fermentation process. “This new, low-energy technology offers the ethanol industry significant added value with few processing steps requiring less energy, materials and capital,” says Thomas Pekich, president of Genencor.

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