Diversa Corporation Joins Forces With New Zealand Crown Research Institutes to Develop New Zealand Biofuels Industry


Diversa Corporation announced that it has formed a research program with New Zealand Crown Research Institutes Scion and AgResearch which could ultimately see New Zealand's entire vehicle fleet running on New Zealand-grown and manufactured biofuels. The partners have agreed to coordinate their technology development initiatives to target the feasibility of a transportation biofuel industry in New Zealand that uses bio-based feedstocks such as trees and grasses.

The three organizations have recently completed a preliminary study, undertaken at Scion in Rotorua and Diversa in San Diego, to investigate the potential for applying Diversa's enzymes to New Zealand-grown tree stocks to convert the wood into sugars, which can then be fermented and refined into ethanol and other products. Scion Chief Executive, Dr. Tom Richardson, says the results from the preliminary study are extremely positive, which has prompted the three organizations to agree to move forward and conduct a feasibility study to further assess the technology and economics of a transportation biofuel industry in New Zealand.

In addition to determining the technical and economic feasibility of a New Zealand biofuels industry, the new study will produce a roadmap to identify potential risks or barriers to commercialization as well as specific technical and commercialization plans. If the results of the feasibility study are positive, the three organizations will work together to bring this vision to reality.

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