Forestry Investment – Companies and institutes from around Europe are investing millions in the development of manufacturing methods for biofuels made from forestry waste and agriculture waste.
The ‘novel high performance enzymes and mico-organisms for conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to bioethanol’, or NEMO as it’s being referred to, is a project that intends to convert the sugars found in agricultural and forestry waste into those that are suitable for fermentation.
This conversion process will use enzymes, which will be evaluated by the researchers to look at their suitability for industrial use to convert the sugars into bioethanol. The goal will be to develop an enzyme that can do the job on a large scale and at a low cost.
NEMO has so far received EUR5.9 million from the European Union and is to use the money over the coming four years to help develop the enzymes.
Most biofuels are currently made from sugars derived from food crops such as corn and sugarcane. This has proven controversial as using food crops for this purpose can drive up food prices.
The NEMO project intends to make sure the process developed reduces carbon emissions to a satisfactory level. The planting of forests for biofuel development can also help to reduce carbon dioxide levels in the air, slowing climate change.