Novozymes looks beyond the 'fantasy fuel' it helped to turn into reality
* Three of four advanced biofuel plants use Novozymes enzymes
* Biomass conversion could transform Novozymes in future
* Biofuel sector in continuing U.S. regulatory battle
By Sabina Zawadzki
COPENHAGEN, Oct 7 (Reuters) - When Denmark's Novozymes first wondered in 2000 how its mass-produced enzymes could be used to make advanced biofuel, the industry did not exist and only now is the fruit of its labour emerging after years of being lampooned as a "fantasy fuel".
But as commercial production of transportation fuel made from plant waste rather than valuable corn finally starts in the United States, Brazil and Europe, Novozymes has already turned its gaze towards bioplastics and even diapers.
With the biofuels sector waging a drawn-out regulatory battle with 'Big Oil' over potentially damaging cuts to biofuel targets in the United States, Novozymes says it has contingency plans.
In addition to fuel, the younger sibling of Danish drugs group Novo Nordisk has set its sights on biomass conversion of plant waste into other products derived from petroleum, such as plastics and acrylic acid, the super-absorber that makes diapers work.
As the world's largest enzyme maker, Novozymes produces proteins that are catalysts used to speed chemical reactions that have a wide array of applications, from boosting the efficiency of washing powder to pre-treating processed food, brewing beer or making animal feed more nutritious. Continuación...