DuPont Accelerating Biofuels Development,
U.S. Senate Energy Committee is Told
DuPont Bio-Based Technology Leader Outlines Company’s Biofuels Strategy
Speaking today before the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, DuPont Vice President of Bio-Based Technology Dr. John Pierce provided an overview of the company’s strategy to accelerate biofuels production.
Pierce was part of a briefing on emerging biofuels. He reviewed current global biofuels issues, the future of cellulosic ethanol and next generation biofuels as replacements for gasoline transportation fuels.
“The biofuels market is ripe for innovation and commercialization,” Pierce said. “DuPont’s integration of modern biological tools into our world-renowned chemistry and engineering has positioned us as technology leaders in the development of bio-based chemicals and now fuels. President Bush visited our laboratories last week and received a tour of our three-part strategy to deliver new technologies to help biofuels become more competitive with petroleum.
“Our strategy is simple and consistent with the mega trends we are seeing globally,” Pierce said. “We are making new chemicals, such as Bio-PDO™, and new fuels, such as biobutanol, from agricultural crops. And we are simultaneously developing new ways to convert abundant plant cellulose fibers to biofuels so that even larger volumes of these valuable materials can be produced. Our strategy is designed to deliver the science needed to begin to transform global economies so we are less reliant on oil by enabling the adoption of efficient, high-performance, bio-based technologies.”
DuPont’s three-part strategy entails: (1) improving existing ethanol production through differentiated agricultural seed products and crop protection chemicals; (2) developing and supplying new technologies to allow conversion of cellulose to biofuels; and (3) developing and supplying next generation biofuels with improved performance.”
Improve Existing Ethanol Production: The first part of DuPont’s three-part strategy is increasing yield per acre and enhancing ethanol yield of grain through biotechnology, enhanced and traditional breeding techniques, and ethanol yield prediction analysis of its corn hybrids. DuPont had more than $300 million in revenues in 2006 from seed and crop protection solutions. For the ethanol industry, DuPont subsidiary Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc. offers more than 180 seed hybrids that are marketed through its IndustrySelect® program, bringing specialized grain traits that improve the efficiency of ethanol production. The seed and crop protection research pipeline includes yield traits in seeds and other products that will further improve ethanol production efficiency.
Technology to Produce Cellulosic Biofuels: DuPont and the U.S. Department of Energy are jointly funding a research program to develop technology to convert corn stover into ethanol. The technology was licensed to Broin, the second largest U.S. ethanol producer and a company renowned for being a technology leader in ethanol production, in October 2006. A commercial-scale plant in Emmetsburg, Iowa, will begin production of cellulosic ethanol in the next four to six years, making it the first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant in the United States. Pierce outlined how the Integrated BioRefinery technology package will significantly increase the amount of ethanol per acre achievable by using corn grain and stover on the same amount of land.
Biobutanol Partnership with BP and Advanced Biofuels Pipeline: DuPont’s partnership with BP to develop biobutanol is based on its strategy to bring advanced biofuels to market to expand the use of biofuels in gasoline. Biobutanol will be the first product available and offers improved performance. It enhances ethanol-gasoline blends by lowering the vapor pressure when co-blended with these fuels; it resolves fuel stability issues in that biobutanol-gasoline blends can be distributed via the existing fuel supply infrastructure; it improves blend flexibility allowing higher biofuels blends with gasoline; and it improves fuel efficiency (better miles per gallon) compared to incumbent biofuels. Biobutanol is targeted for introduction later this year in the United Kingdom. Additional global capacity will be introduced as market conditions dictate.
DuPont is a world leader in the development and manufacturing of high-performance materials that provide environmentally sustainable solutions utilizing renewable, farm-grown feedstocks rather than petroleum. The power of DuPont’s scientific capabilities, including state-of-the-art biotechnology and bio-based manufacturing processes, are being harnessed to meet the needs of both customers and society.
DuPont – one of the first companies to publicly establish environmental goals 16 years ago – has broadened its sustainability commitments beyond internal footprint reduction to include market-driven targets for both revenue and research and development investment like biofuels. The goals are tied directly to business growth, specifically to the development of safer and environmentally improved new products for key global markets, including products based on non-depletable resources, like biofuels.
DuPont is a science-based products and services company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries and regions, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.
The DuPont Oval, DuPont™, The miracles of science™ and Bio-PDO™ are registered trademarks or trademarks of DuPont or its affiliates. IndustrySelect® is a registered trademark of Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.
For more information: http://www.bpdupontbiofuels.com/ or http://pioneer.mediaroom.com/file.php/271/ProdChallenge.pdf .
For bio/photo of John Pierce: http://www2.dupont.com/Our_Company/en_US/executives/pierce.html
Contact: Michelle Reardon, 302-774-7447