Saturday, February 20, 2010

Enzymes to Lower Biofuel Prices

New enzymes promise to lower biofuel prices to competitive levels with petroleum fuels. Cheap reliable energy is good for the economy, as is a renewable source that we could grow domestically and cut imports. My concern with this is the same for all bio fuels; what will it do to the price and availability of food?

"Producing a biofuel cheap enough to compete at the pump with oil has remained as elusive as a ghost on the walls of Elsinore castle. But this week, two Danish companies announced they had developed enzymes capable of breaking down cellulose into ethanol cheaply enough to produce $2-a-gallon gas.

The two companies, Genencor and Novozyme, both announced different cost-cutting enzymes at the 15th Annual National Ethanol Conference in Orlando, Florida. Obviously, the exact recipe of either enzyme remains a proprietary secret, but the fact that both multiple companies came out with cost-cutting enzymes at the same time represents a larger shift towards affordability in the ethanol market.

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