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China-based Shengquan Group and the Danish company Novozymes are partnering to make enough cellulosic ethanol for commercialization. Shengquen and Novozymes have reached an agreement in which Shengquen will invest $100 million and Novozymes will provide the "enabling enzyme technology" for production of cellulosic ethanol, a "second-generation" biofuel because it's made from plant waste.

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Here's a question. Take that one-ton bale of biomass (specifically, corn cobs and stalks) in the picture above, turn it into cellulosic ethanol and mix it into E85 (so, dilute it with a bit of gasoline). Now, pour it into the flex-fuel Ford Fusion parked before it and start driving. Once you leave the DC Auto Show, where we came across all of this, how far will you be able to go?

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Novozymes E85 vehicles – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Thursday at the Platts Cellulosic Ethanol Conference saw three of the cellulosic ethanol plant builders give updates on their strategy for converting biomass to fuel and where their companies are today. The speakers were Wes Bolsen, CMO and vp at Coskata, Christopher Veit, senior marketing manager, biomass, for Novozymes, Inc., and Murray Burke, president and CTO of SunOpta. The short version of each of their speeches: we're doing amazing things, you should really take another look at our techno

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