Verenium, Alfa Laval market enzymatic degummer

By Susanne Retka Schill | March 09, 2009
Web exclusive posted March 24, 2009, at 5:32 p.m. CST

Verenium Corp., based in Cambridge, Mass., has signed an agreement with Alfa Laval to jointly market enzymatic degumming of vegetable oils using Verenium's Purifine PLC enzyme and Alfa Laval's engineering services and equipment.

According to the company announcement, Purifine enzymatic degumming is a novel process that significantly increases yields in edible oil production and enhances biodiesel yields. Under the terms of the agreement, Alfa Laval will market Purifine enzymatic degumming packaged with their process engineering equipment and services to customers processing vegetable oils for edible and biodiesel use. As part of the agreement, Verenium will support Alfa Laval's marketing efforts and recommend their engineering services to target customers.

Verenium's patented Purifine enzyme improves operating efficiency and reduces byproducts by allowing a higher percentage of the crude vegetable oil extracted from seeds to be recovered and converted into edible oil or biodiesel. In conventional processing, phospholipid impurities are removed as emulsified gums with an associated oil yield loss. Purifine enzyme works by reacting with the phospholipids releasing both the oil entrained in the gum and the oil-component of the phospholipids. Compared to other degumming methods, oil yield losses are reduced by up to 75 percent using Purifine enzymatic degumming, depending on the phospholipid content of the oil. Purifine PLC also offers significant benefits to the refining process by improving operating efficiency, and reducing the need for harsh chemicals and other processing aids.

Verenium develops specialty enzymes, primarily targeted at cellulosic ethanol production. The company is optimizing its process at its pilot-scale facility in Jennings, La. Last August, the company announced a strategic partnership with British Petroleum, who will invest $90 million in Verenium over the next 18 months.

Alfa Laval is a global provider of specialized products and engineering solutions based on its core technologies of heat transfer, separation and fluid handling.
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