• Jan 26, 2010
Novozymes E85 vehicles – Click above for high-res image gallery

Government waste takes on a whole new meaning today as a Chevrolet HHR and a flex-fuel Ford F-150 powered by ethanol roll into Washington D.C. for the Auto Show. Granted, a couple of E85-powered vehicles in our Nation's Capitol isn't all that interesting in and of itself, but these have their tanks filled with alcohol fuel derived from government office waste paper and waste cardboard.

The demonstration is masterminded by Novozymes, which has partnered with Maryland-based Fiberight to show off that firm's biofuel enzyme technology. This fuel can reportedly be created using a wide variety of materials, including agricultural residues, municipal waste and so-called energy crops – feedstock grown specifically for biofuel use.

Interestingly, Novozymes' research into the enzyme biofuel technology was also fueled by taxpayer dollars: the first DOE grant totaled $2.2 million and was given in 2002; the second for $12.3 million was given in 2008. Why do we care? Well, it's generally argued that biofuels like ethanol reduce overall carbon emissions and don't require drilling for fossil fuels. Deriving ethanol from corn or other food crops, though, isn't exactly an ideal situation. So, the promise of cheap alcohol fuels from waste is a fine one indeed. Click past the break for the official press release.



[Source: Novazymes, The Detroit Bureau]
Show full PR text
First-Ever Car Powered by Government Paper Waste Makes Debut at Washington Auto Show

Novozymes to demonstrate improved enzyme technology for advanced biofuels


WASHINGTON – For the first time in U.S. history, a vehicle fuelled by government office waste paper and waste cardboard will drive the streets of Washington D.C. today. Global bioinnovation company Novozymes has partnered with Maryland-based Fiberight to provide the demonstration fuel.

"The advanced biofuels showcased here today demonstrate that the enzyme technology is ready for market. What we need now is commercialization and deployment of advanced biofuels in order to help meet our country's most pressing energy and environment challenges," said Adam Monroe, president, Novozymes North America.

During today's 'Ride 'n Drive' event, government VIP's and members of the media will get the chance to test drive a flex-fuel Chevrolet HHR at the Washington Convention Center. In the exhibition hall, a flex-fuel Ford F150 – also fuelled with the wastepaper-based biofuel – will be on display throughout the week. Both vehicles run on E85, a blend of 85 percent biofuel and 15 percent gasoline.

Novozymes multi-year research and development efforts have resulted in an enzyme cocktail that can now be used to make advanced biofuel from agricultural residues, municipal waste and energy crops. The biofuel demonstrated at the show is produced by Fiberight (www.fiberight.com). After a sequence of pulping, pre-treatment and wash, enzymes from Novozymes turn the paper and cardboard waste into sugars that are then fermented into biofuel. A sample of the paper feedstock will also be on display throughout the show.

The company is no stranger to the government spotlight. President Bush visited Novozymes headquarters in North Carolina in February 2007 to learn about enzyme technology which resulted in part of the plans for the Renewable Fuels Standard.

Novozymes also received two contracts from the DOE for its research efforts to bring down the cost of enzymes and improve their efficiency in converting cellulose to biofuels. The first contract for $2.2 million was given in 2002, and the second for $12.3 million was given in 2008.

As a result of this work, Novozymes has been able to achieve significant reductions in enzyme costs over the years, notably the 50 percent reduction announced in 2009. Most recently, the company received a $28.4 million tax credit toward the construction of its enzyme manufacturing facility in Blair, Nebraska which will create 100 new green jobs.

Advanced biofuels can deliver up to 90 percent CO2 emission reduction compared to gasoline and are the most cost-efficient way of reducing CO2 in the transport sector. In 2009, the deployment of Novozymes' technologies in all industries resulted in the reduction of CO2 emissions totaling approximately 27 million tons – the equivalent of taking 7 million cars off the road.



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  • 22 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Chevy HHR "fueled by government waste" = definition of irony.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Actually, no, no it is not.

        http://notirony.com/
        • 4 Years Ago
        In order for the Novozymes Chevrolet HHR to be developed, it had to rely upon applications for, consideration of, and ultimately approval of a DOE grant - undoubtedly a paper-hungry process that by nature of its very existence generated a significant quantity of physical waste to be shuffled by Washington pencil-pushers, a text-book example of situational irony whereby the intended and actual results of an action are discrepant. Perhaps if your little website had been penned by a creative writing major, such as myself, and not by an eighth-grade English student with a rudimentary understanding of HTML you wouldn’t have to feel like an idiot right now. Better luck next time.

        Apologies to zamafir for the misplaced reply.
        • 4 Years Ago
        In fact, here's a handy chart:

        http://notironic.com/
      • 4 Years Ago
      I think I'm lost am I in Autoblog Green???
      • 4 Years Ago
      I still am digging HHR's looks.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Z . . . The HHR is not my kind of car. But I agree . . . I have always liked the looks of this car.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Read the headline and immediately thought they were fueled by countless government employees, good thing I read the article.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "soilent green is people".

        _frank black
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Zama...

        Brilliant. As I was thinking it, there it was.

        Phil Hartman as Chuck Heston on the old SNL, too.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I know it has to work, it just has to. Gosh I hope it works.

      See, it has pretty graphics, and it's made with science! And green jobs!

      They just have to change the motto. Try "Americas Waste, made from your sweat!"

      Come to think of it, the way their printing money they can just feed it directly to the microbes, no more unnecessary tree killing.

      • 4 Years Ago
      dear lord, still beating that dead horse? Didn't ford/gm hear bush isn't in office anymore?
        • 4 Years Ago
        In order for the Novozymes Chevrolet HHR to be developed, it had to rely upon applications for, consideration of, and ultimately approval of a DOE grant - undoubtedly a paper-hungry process that by nature of its very existence generated a significant quantity of physical waste to be shuffled by Washington pencil-pushers, a text-book example of situational irony whereby the intended and actual results of an action (in this case the reduction of waste) are discrepant. Perhaps if your little website had been penned by a creative writing major, such as myself, and not by an eighth-grade English student with a rudimentary understanding of HTML you wouldn’t have to feel like an idiot right now. Better luck next time.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Until those vehicles haul away the people in that building, on both sides of the aisle, in both chambers, and their over-spending deficits, and hugely expanding budgets...

      ...they haven't even made a perceptible dent in government waste.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Don't worry, it's making a fuel stop.

        ZING!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Corn is evil, they really ought to stop subsidizing that crap. I'm sorry but I refuse to eat meat which came from a cow eating corn rather than grass as nature intended.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Ok....

        They made the alcohol for these two vehicles from recycled paper-stock from capitol hill... not from corn. This time.

        I am from Iowa, a corn producing state, and also a bit of a cattle producing state.

        I disagree fully with the idiocy of putting foodstuffs through an inefficient distilling process, to produce alcohol for fuel. It is stupid to burn food as fuel, in general.

        But have you been to the midwest? I live here. There isn't open grassland for cattle to roam freely. It is usually either developed for humans, or it is arable farmland that grows grain to feed a significant fraction of the world's population. American livestock production similarly feeds millions or billions of people.

        Perhaps moreso in the mountain west, there is enough open grassland for a couple of cattle herds to eat grass. But if the cattle aren't open-ranged, but kept in a fenced area, they tend to make the land they occupy into barren dirt or mud, as they eat and trample what grass there is, and then they would start to starve.

        It would take HUGE amounts of open grassland, to support the modern cattle industry. It isn't the old west with cattle drives anymore. The industry is many times larger, and the land isn't as freely open as it was 150-200 years ago or longer.

        Corn-based feed is what keeps beef production going, just as corn meal makes a lot of foodstuffs for human consumption. Plus, corn feed has comparatively less filler, and more nutritional value than "grass", so is a more efficient food, unlike alcohol which is a LESS efficient fuel than the gasoline it displaces in the gas tank.

        Eat grass-fed beef if you like... but corn fed beef is not the issue you want to make it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        But if it wasn't for subsidies then land would be put to a more efficient use, as market would demand. Plus corn fed cattle is more prone to disease

      • 4 Years Ago
      that flag graphic is not being kind to the HHR...

      its making it look like it has a hump-back like a land rover or some crap.
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