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New enzyme

By Yelena Shamis |

Last month, Novozymes (Copenhagen, Denmark; www.novozymes.com) launched a new enzyme, dubbed Eversa, which is said to be the first commercially available enzymatic solution to make biodiesel fuels from waste oils. The enzymatic process converts used cooking oil or other lower-grade oils into biodiesel. Most of the vegetable oils currently used in the food industry are sourced from soybeans, palm or rapeseed, and typically contain less than 0.5% free fatty acids (FFA). Existing biodiesel process designs have difficulty handling oils containing more than 0.5% FFA, meaning that waste oils with high FFAs have not been a viable feedstock option until now, says the company. “The idea of enzymatic biodiesel is not new, but the costs involved have been too high for commercial viability,” says Frederik Mejlby, marketing director for Novozymes’ Grain Processing division. “Eversa changes this and enables biodiesel producers to finally work with waste oils and enjoy feedstock flexibility to avoid the pinch of volatile pricing.” (For more on industrial enzymes, see Newsfront, Chem. Eng., January 2015, pp. 19–22.)
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