Last Updated 15 May 2021

Biofuel Technology with Close Reference to the Dupont Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol (DDCE) LLC Plant

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The DDCE Company is a one hundred and forty million dollars joint venture business between Genencor, which is a subsidiary business of Danisco, and the DuPont.  The company, in collaboration with the research foundation of the University of Tennessee has established a cellulosic ethanol plant in Tennessee’s Vanore. Renewable plant materials are the core materials while the second generation fuel generation is utilized. This case study analysis discusses the feedstock availability and its related average yields, the technology used, the biofuel yields, and the biofuel characteristics in comparison to those of the petrol fuel (Sissell 2008, pp. 4-97).

Feedstock Availability Its Average Yields

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The biomass feedstock of the DDCE generates low carbon fuels. This helps to cater for the concerns arising from the long term security economic issues. The company’s feedstock uses the plant cellulosic biomass since the plant matters used contains lignin which comprise of grains, fruits, and vegetables, among others. Its feedstock has fermentable sugars some of which are easily accessible to biochemical conversion. Based on Sissell’s argument, the availability and logistic yields per acre and the density and the land usage tend to influence the choice of the DDCE feedstock(Sissell 2008, pp. 67-70). Currently, the company has settled on the usage of gallons per acre yields and this is the reason why DDCE demonstrated its first bio-refineries using switch-grass and corncob. The company also has considered the usage of other feedstock such as sugarcane bagasse, fiber sorghum, wheat straw, and miscanthus (Nhuan, Caye, and Terry 2008, pp. 21-54). The feedstock has the lignin that is a complex network of the aromatic compound high energy comprises of 15% to 25%, the hemicelluloses of 23% to 32% of about 6 carbon sugars that are linked together in long chains that are branched arabinose, xylose, glucose, galactose residues, and mannose, and 38% to 50% cellulose formed in semi crystalline structure.

Technology of DDCE

In the DECC Company, advanced biofuel is based on the biomass residues that normally increase the yields of the biofuel energy. The production costs are decreased while decoupling from the production of foods is realized. During the production process in the company, the production input used is agricultural wastes and crop residues while the ultimate output is fertilizer and fuel. In some instances, the BioFuel A/S technology which is mainly dedicated to the production of biofuel based on various biomass wastes is employed. Emphasis in the company’s production technology is laid on the second generation biofuel. The biofuel production process entails the wastes being converted to biofuel, pure water, and refined fertilizers. The technology used enable avoidance of adverse negative environmental impacts of the wastes (Hammerschlag 2006, pp. 389-397). The lignocelluloses biomass contains lignin which comprises of aromatic compounds with high energy contents, hemicelluloses.

The joint venture combines DuPont’s expertise in bio-refinery design and engineering, pretreatment chemistry, and mixed-sugar fermentation with Genencor’s expertise in biomass enzymes and low-cost biocatalyst production. A technology package that contains all the designs, licenses, and engineering techniques needed in a bio-refinery ethanol production is used. Additionally, licenses that make the needed biocatalysts for production are encompassed in the DDCE technology. The integrated solution thus allows for the system sustainability with an optimized system unit within the operating expense parameters and a more cost effective and reliable capital scale. According to Nhuan, Caye and Terry (2008, pp. 21-54), a template solution for an upstream biomass technological supply is utilized in order to enhance an improved transfer upgrades and system performance.

Under the technology to be used at the DDCE Fermentation process, fermentation has been accorded a lot of attention. A mixed sugar based ethanologen related associated to the zymomonas mobilis bacterium has also been integrated into the production technology. Hammerschlag (2006, pp. 389-397) explains that indeed this partly explains why DuPont has opted to optimize a strain that was initially acquired the nations laboratory of renewable energy and the advanced applied metabolic engineering thus boosting the xylose pathway organism’s ability usage of the C5 sugars in the hydrolysate process. An improved metabolic engineering of the zymomomas would, as illustrated in the four xylose pathway genes below, be used.

The xylose pathway genes would comprise of new tools for the insertion of foreign genes and knocking out genes. The on-the-site handling of the feedstock raw materials before the enzyme hydrolysis process would help in optimizing the designed enzyme.

Yields of Biofuel

The DDCE Company’s cellulosic ethanol yields currently enjoy loans guarantees for the construction. The bio-products of the biofuel production process include refined fertilizers and pure water. The entire DDCE process converts the renewable biomass to ethanol for fuel while the lignocelluloses makes up the overall structure of the plant and so is broken down into smaller sugar components that are then converted into ethanol in readiness for the actual use for fuel. The DuPont has developed a pre-treatment technology which opens the designed polymers for the access of the enzymes in the biofuel yielding process. Sissell (2008, pp. 4-97) elaborates that during the saccharification process, the enzymes are the danisco enzymes are broken down to cellulose and hemicelluloses into their respective sugars. The biomass then leaves the sacrifiers after being transformed to hydrolysates. At the fermentation stage, the DuPont technology ferments sugars to ethanol. Subsequently, separation of energy’s by-products is undertaken while the ethanol is then distilled to the desired fuel grade ethanol (Scruggs and Paul 2009, pp. 998-1176). Filtration, distillation, and storage are the conclusive procedures undertaken before shipment of the fuel grade through the fuel supply transportation system is done. Biomass is ground to smaller sizes before entering the conversion process.

Biofuel Characteristics In Comparison To Petrol Fuels

There are a number of unique characteristics that dissociate biofuel from the petro fuel. To begin with, biofuel is renewable source of energy while petrol fuel is not. This makes it more preferred in terms of its sustainability and lifep. Secondly, unlike the usage of petrol fuel, biofuel helps in the reduction of carbon dioxide from 60 to more than more than 100%b through the absorption of the carbon dioxide. It has a relatively low lose incurred in the conversion process to ethanol and a high tolerance to hydrolysate. Biofuel utilizes mobilis which has a high yield of ethanol as well as a high tolerance to the ethanol products (Sissell 2008, pp. 4-97). The tolerance is in excess of about 100 g/l. These characteristics make the organism quite favorable compared to engineered yeast strains and petrol fuel. In the production process and during its actual use, biofuel saves carbon dioxide and also provides for a balance in the environmental energy.

The production of biofuel is done within short residence times. Biofuel, based on the DDCE technology would undergo various pretreatment steps in order to dilute the ammonia process. The ammonia would then easily be recycled thus keeping the output costs relatively low. Moreover, since ammonia is easily dispersed within the preprocessed biomass, low concentrations allows for its usage at low pressures and temperatures and can also be used at low concentrations, and at low temperature and pressure. The biofuel from the DDCE Company is more environmentally friendly, is renewable, and also produces much less CO2 compared to petrol fuel.

Economics and Environmental and Social Issues

Sustainability is fully enhanced by the DDCE Company which has purposed to realize a sustainable environment friendly system. DDCE attempts to break the boundaries by ensuring that more environmentally friendly fuel is availed to the world population and the more than one billion vehicles. Through the development of a rigorous stakeholder engagement, sustainability efforts would be validated to ensure that only positive environment and social impacts are promoted. The bio-based economy contributes to the highly desired low carbon economy, the energy independence, green jobs, and the reinvigorated rural economies across borders (Sissell 2008, pp. 4-97).

The biofuel production system utilizes all available products thus ensuring environmental conservation and reduction in the rates of the previous environmental degradation. The use of the life cycle assessment tool (LCA) encourages environmental considerations to be made during the decision making process thus reducing the negative impact of the environmental implications of diverse bio-refinery options. The DDCE Company target is to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions against the gasoline production by 60%.


From the above analysis of the Dupont Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol, it is evident that biofuel provides a number of benefits that are more convenient, efficient, and cost effective and hence a better future is assured for the energy sector. Using the second generation technology, the company converts ethanol fuel, which is a renewable energy source, to electrical energy in order to supplement the limited fuel sources in existence.


  1. Hammerschlag, R 2006, ‘Ethanol energy investment return: A survey of literature from the 1999 to the present day,’ Environmental science and technologies, 40, 389-397.
  2. Nhuan, NP, Caye, D, & Terry, EW 2008, Technology and process of the biofuel Engineering, McGraw-Hill, (Edn.) 2, ISBN: 0071487492, 21-54. <>.
  3. Scruggs, J & Paul, J 2009, ‘Harvesting of the ocean energy wave’, Science, Vol. 232, 998-1176.
  4. Sissell, K 2008, The DuPont, The Genencor Form,  JV to the Production of Cellulosic Ethanol, An overview of the thermal energy in the  Chemical Week journal,  Vol. 170, Issue 15, 4-97.
  5. Van, G 1969, ‘Effect of the supplementation of low proteins in hay on cellulolytic bacteria of the rumen of the sheep animal and the digestibility of the cellulose and the hemicelluloses, a journal of the agricultural science, the Cambridge, 34-125.


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