January 25, 2012

DSM partners with POET on ethanol

Is it just the blog's imagination or are there seem to be more and more chemical companies venturing into advanced ethanol production, the recent one being DSM?

Let's see our list here:
  • DuPont Cellulosic Ethanol - No need to introduce DuPont in this case. The company's cellulosic ethanol business is planning to build a 27.5m gal/year cellulosic ethanol plant in Nevada, Iowa, which is expected to start in late 2013. 
  • INEOS Bio - the advanced biofuel technology business of Switzerland-based petrochemical company INEOS. Through its joint-venture project INEOS New Planet BioEnergy (INPB), the company plans to start commercial production of cellulosic ethanol this year in a 24,000 tonne/year biorefinery in Vero Beach, Florida.
  • Gruppo Mossi & Ghisolfi (M&G) - this Italy-based polymer company formed a joint venture called Beta Renewables with TPG Capital. Beta Renewables is building a 13m gal/year cellulosic ethanol in Crescentino, Italy which is expected to start this year. Novozymes is supplying the enzymes for this project.
  • Celanese - planning for possibly 3 greenfield coal-to-ethanol production units in Nanjing, China with a capacity of 600,000 tones/year expected by mid-2013. Celanese is also looking into producing coal from natural gas here in the US and is building a technology development unit for ethanol production at its facility in Clear Lake, Texas.
  • Sud-Chemie - a technology business of Switzerland-based Clariant, the company has been building its 1,000 tonne/year cellulosic ethanol in Straubing, Germany, which is supposed to have already started by the end of 2011.
  • Dow Chemical - I am not sure if Dow and its partner Mitsui will sell sugarcane-based ethanol itself as the companies plan to use if for plastic feedstock but the partnership is currently constructing ethanol mill in Brazil, which will deliver 240m liters/year of ethanol by the second quarter of 2013.
And now...we have DSM forming a joint venture with US ethanol producer POET called POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels. It is actually not surprising that DSM will venture into this path given the company's enzymes business. Major enzymes producer in the biofuel field today includes DSM, DuPont (via the newly acquired Danisco/Genencor), Novozymes,Verenium, Codexis, Syngenta...who else did I miss?

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