Construction began April 12 in Italy on the world's first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant, said Novozymes A/S.
Italian chemicals manufacturer Mossi & Ghisolfi Group is building a biorefinery in Crescentino , Italy, that will have the capacity to produce 13 million gallons of bioethanol annually. Production is scheduled to begin in 2012.
Novozymes will supply the enzymes needed to convert cellulose into sugar that can be fermented into ethanol. Cellulosic ethanol is produced from biomass such as wheat straw, corn stover, municipal waste, and energy crops.
The plant will be 10 times larger than the largest demonstration facilities currently in operation, Novozymes said.
The price of the ethanol will be competitive with gasoline, according to Novozymes..
The plant will serve European markets where a European Union directive requires at least 10% of motor fuel to come from renewable sources by 2020, Mossi Ghisolfi said.