Syngenta is hoping by 2017 to bring on line at two U.S. corn ethanol plants a bolt-on system that allows companies to add cellulosic ethanol to their production mix.
Syngenta, which has developed Enogen, a genetically modified corn designed to increase ethanol yields, has teamed up with Quad County Corn Processors (QCCP) of Galva, Iowa, to use the new strain in QCCP's Cellerate technology.
The Cellerate system, which gives dry grind ethanol plants the ability to convert corn kernel fiber into cellulosic ethanol, has been under tests at QCCP's plant since 2014.
Syngenta acquired licensing rights to the system in collaboration with QCCP's Cellulosic Ethanol Technologies subsidiary.
Jack Bernens, who leads Syngenta's Enogen project, said in an interview Tuesday that that company hopes to expand the technology to two additional plants and have the system in operation by 2017.
Syngenta on Monday said it had completed an 18-day trial at QCCP that increased the plant's ethanol production 20% through the use Cellerate process and Enogen corn.
The 18-day trial was designed to push the system to determine its performance potential and though it was successful, Bernens said his company plans to conduct more tests to push the system still further.
QCCP has produced more than 3 million gal of cellulosic ethanol using the Cellerate process.
"Without changes to the conventional starch ethanol process, Cellerate offers advantages to ethanol plants including pre-treatment in the fiber that allows whole stillage processing without the requirement to separate all the fiber and starch," QCCP Delayne Johnson said in a statement.
"With Cellerate, the biofuels industry now has the technology available to create 2 billion gallons of cellulosic ethanol ‚Äî all from the same kernel of corn," Johnson added.