DuPont (NYSE: DD) is uniquely positioned to deliver clean technology opportunities, including both advanced biomaterials and biofuels, DuPont Applied BioSciences President Craig F. Binetti told attendees at the Jeffries 11th Annual Clean Technology Conference.
"We are meeting the growing demand for reducing dependence on fossil fuels by harnessing the full innovation capabilities of our scientists and our partners," Binetti said. "This creates a powerhouse of industrial biotechnology and clean technology businesses with a goal of generating $1 billion in revenues and more than $250 million in earnings by 2015 from our extensive portfolio of renewable materials and fuel technologies."
DuPont estimates the biofuels industry worldwide will grow from a $50 billion opportunity today to a $75 billion opportunity by 2015. The company has ongoing efforts to develop both fuels from renewable non-food biomass, cellulosic ethanol, and a drop-in biofuel, biobutanol, that behaves similar to gasoline. DuPont Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol (DDCE) is the joint venture working to bring cellulosic ethanol technologies to market. Butamax™ Advanced Biofuels, LLC is the DuPont-BP joint venture tasked with commercializing biobutanol.
"Globally, approximately 600 new plants will be required in the next decade to meet the anticipated global demand for cellulosic biofuel, and we expect a significant share of these will use DDCE technology," Binetti said.
DDCE is focused on a commercialization model that includes licensing and selective participation in production of cellulosic ethanol. The licensing program includes a comprehensive package for cellulosic ethanol production that includes licensed technology, plant design, start-up, training and ongoing technical support. This joint venture is in the final preparations for site selection for its first commercial facility, which will be located in Iowa.
"Biobutanol is a unique fuel that can be made from renewable resources as efficiently as ethanol and has advantages in refining, blending and distribution. Biobutanol is a retrofit technology which can be applied to existing grain and sugarcane ethanol facilities to upgrade the value of their output," Binetti said. "The Butamax™ joint venture has focused initial commercial development on corn and sugarcane based ethanol plants. There are more than 200 grain based ethanol plants and more than 400 sugarcane ethanol plants globally.
"While ethanol and biobutanol each have the potential to add value to the global biofuels market, a three-component blend of ethanol-biobutanol-gasoline has significant advantages as well," Binetti said. "We are positioning ourselves so we are advantaged when the rapid growth occurs in advanced renewable fuels over the next decade."
DuPont has an extensive biomaterials portfolio that ranges from renewably sourced monomers and polymers, such as Bio-PDO™ and Sorona® to Omega-3 fatty acids and advanced biomedical materials. Recent business developments include a 35 percent capacity expansion for Bio-PDO™ at the DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products joint venture which will be online in 2011. In addition, the European Union this week approved the formation of the Actamax Surgical Materials, LLC.
"Our Biomaterials portfolio is a unique combination of market-based initiatives," Binetti said. "Our products have superior performance, are cost effective and are renewable, giving us the opportunity to penetrate large addressable markets in flooring, apparel, automotive and packaging."
For more than 15 years, DuPont has been developing integrated science to produce a new category of bio-based materials called DuPont™ Renewably Sourced™ Materials. These products are high-performance, bio-based materials and biofuels that are made, in whole or in part, from renewable agricultural feedstocks such as corn, soybeans, sugar cane and wheat, rather than petroleum. In the future, DuPont also hopes to make these materials from cellulosic feedstocks from fast growing energy crops, such as grasses, and agricultural byproducts, such as corn stalks.