Verenium and VPP Sign Agreement to Test Ethanol Process
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, 21 October 2009 -- /PRNewswire/ -- Verenium Corporation (NASDAQ:VRNM), a pioneer in the development of next-generation cellulosic ethanol and high-performance specialty enzymes, today announced that it has entered into an agreement with Value Prior to Pulping (VPP), an organization created by the Agenda 2020 Technology Alliance, a special project of the American Forest and Paper Association, and CleanTech Partners, Inc., to test the effectiveness of Verenium's C5 technology for the creation of cellulosic ethanol from the hemicelluloses generated by the pulp and paper process, creating higher value products without negatively affecting paper quality. VPP is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the State of Wisconsin and several large forest products companies.
"We are pleased to be partnering with VPP and enthusiastic for the opportunity to explore the potential of our C5 technology to create biofuels from feedstocks sourced from the pulping process," said Gregory Powers, executive vice president of Research and Development of Verenium. "Integrating ethanol production into the pulping process could create an attractive market opportunity for Verenium and the pulping industry. If this project proves successful, Verenium will be well positioned to enable this new source of low-cost biofuels."
It is estimated that a typical 1500 ton-per-day kraft mill could produce approximately 15 million gallons of ethanol annually. The total potential market opportunity is estimated to be 1.5-2 billion gallons of ethanol per year.
"We believe these types of opportunities to 'bolt' our technology onto existing industrial processes, where the feedstock sourcing, handling and processing are already well-established, and are complementary to our core biofuels strategy," said Carlos A. Riva, president and chief executive officer of Verenium.
Verenium Corporation is a leader in the development and commercialization of cellulosic ethanol, an environmentally-friendly and renewable transportation fuel, and high-performance specialty enzymes for applications within the biofuels, industrial, and animal health markets. The company possesses integrated, end-to-end capabilities and cutting-edge technology in pretreatment, novel enzyme development, fermentation, and project development for next-generation biofuels. Through Vercipia, a 50-50 joint venture with BP, the company is moving rapidly to commercialize cellulosic technology for the production of ethanol from a wide array of nonfood feedstocks, including dedicated energy crops, agricultural waste, and wood products. In addition to the vast potential for biofuels, a multitude of large-scale industrial opportunities exist for the Company for products derived from the production of low-cost, biomass-derived sugars.
Verenium's Specialty Enzyme business harnesses the power of enzymes to create a broad range of specialty products to meet high-value commercial needs. Verenium's world class R&D organization is renowned for its capabilities in the rapid screening, identification, and expression of enzymes-proteins that act as the catalysts of biochemical reactions. For more information on Verenium, visit http://www.verenium.com/.