The U.S. Department of Agriculture approved a genetically modified trait in corn developed by agrochemicals producer Syngenta that could improve ethanol yields, Syngenta said Feb. 11.
Syngenta will market the modified corn seed under its Enogen brand name. Syngenta refers to the corn seed as a "breakthrough technology" that can easily be integrated into existing infrastructure.
Syngenta has estimated that Enogen can provide ethanol producers a cost advantage between 8 and 15 cents per gallon.
"Enogen corn seed offers growers an opportunity to cultivate a premium specialty crop. It is a breakthrough product that provides U.S. ethanol producers with a proven means to generate more gallons of ethanol from their existing facilities," said Davor Pisk, Syngenta's chief operating officer. "Enogen corn also reduces the energy and water consumed in the production process while substantially reducing carbon emissions."
Enogen corn seed will be available for the coming growing season with large-scale commercial introduction planned for 2012.
Syngenta will manage Enogen corn production using a contracted, closed production system.
The corn amylase trait in Enogen has already been approved for import into Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Russia and Taiwan and for cultivation in Canada.