DuPont Industrial Biosciences has been awarded a grant from the European Commission to demonstrate high-efficiency enzyme production to increase biogas yields as part of the DEMETER project, funded from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation program. Enzyme technology has been proven to improve biogas yields and process robustness, ultimately increasing customers’ revenue and profitability while increasing offerings in renewable energy.
The DEMETER project is expected to demonstrate a yield increase and cost reduction in the production process for biogas enzymes, which can improve the economics of biogas production in Europe. DEMETER includes an entire value chain of biogas experts including: DuPont (enzymes), Miavit (biogas ingredients distributor), BioBase Europe (pilot plant), OWS (anaerobic digester expertise), DBFZ (biogas research center), Ciaotech (economic and environmental evaluation), and Biomoer (biogas farm). The project is expected to be completed over the next three years.
“DuPont is proud to be a partner in project DEMETER and to apply our decades of experience in the global industrial enzyme business to supporting the continued growth of the biogas sector in the European Union and around the world,” said Conrad Burke, global marketing director. “Ultimately, this project will demonstrate to biomethane producers the power of enzymes to improve biogas yields and process robustness, ultimately increasing their revenue and profitability.”
The grant will be used to improve and scale-up the enzyme-producing fermentation process to reach a cost reduction of at least 15 percent and to demonstrate the efficiency of the enzymes in biogas field trials in Europe. Methane biogas is primarily used to generate electricity or is compressed and inserted into the pipeline gas grid.
DuPont has recently developed a new enzyme product, derived from Myceliophthora thermophila C1, that in recent field trials has shown a promising 10 percent cost-reduction in the production of biogas from organic waste. In November 2016, DuPont Industrial Biosciences and MIAVIT GmbH announced a supply agreement where DuPont will supply its FIBREZYME G4 enzyme biotechnology to MIAVIT for inclusion in MiaMethan ProCut, a new biogas ingredient for the agricultural sector sold by MIAVIT. DuPont Industrial Biosciences also recently partnered with the American Biogas Council and the United States Department of Energy to host Using Biotechnology to Drive Progress in the Biogas Industry, a webinar discussing opportunities and challenges facing biogas producers in today's global market.