Syngenta’s most recent announcement of a signed commercial agreement with Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy (SIRE), to begin using Enogen corn enzyme technology at its Council Bluffs, Iowa, ethanol production facility following the 2015 harvest, brings to nine ethanol plants planning to use Enogen.

SIRE is the third Iowa plant to sign such an agreement. Currently, nine plants have signed commercial agreements with Syngenta and now either use or plan to use Enogen grain to produce ethanol, according to Syngenta. Syngenta estimates that about 1,000 growers will plant Enogen seed corn on approximately 230,000 acres during 2015. The company has not publicly announced all of the plants for 2015. The publically announced plants are as follows: 

  • Quad County Corn Processors—Galva, Iowa
  • Plymouth Energy—Merrill, Iowa
  • Bonanza BioEnergy—Garden City, Kan.
  • Three Rivers Energy—Coshocton, Ohio
  • Arkalon Ethanol—Liberal, Kan.
  • SIRE—Council Bluffs, Iowa

According to David Witherspoon, head of Enogen for Syngenta, the robust alpha amylase enzyme found in Enogen grain helps an ethanol plant dramatically reduce the viscosity of its corn mash, and reduce—or may eliminate—the need to add a liquid form of the enzyme.

“This breakthrough viscosity reduction can lead to unprecedented levels of solids loading, which directly contributes to increased throughput and yield, as well as critical cost savings from reduced natural gas, energy, water and chemical usage,” Witherspoon said. “Farmers who grow Enogen corn benefit as well; they earn an average premium of 40 cents per bushel.

“The agreement with SIRE will enable SIRE to source alpha amylase directly from local growers and keep enzyme dollars in the local community,” Witherspoon added. “This is what truly sets Enogen corn apart from other technologies designed to enhance ethanol production. It adds significant incremental value at the local level for communities that rely on their ethanol plant’s success.”

SIRE is a state of the art dry-mill grain processing facility that annually produces more than 125 million gallons of ethanol and consumes more than 40 million bushels of corn. SIRE sources grain from a large portion of southwest Iowa and several counties in southeast Nebraska.

According to SIRE General Manager and CEO Brian Cahill, the opportunity to invest locally is a key benefit of using Enogen grain.

“We look forward to purchasing alpha amylase in the form of high-quality grain directly from local corn growers,” Cahill said. “When you think about the value that Enogen will deliver for our growers, our facility and our community, it’s a win-win-win scenario.”

More information about the Enogen corn enzyme technology is available at