Codexis and Raizen Energia, a Brazil-based sugar and ethanol producer, have formed an agreement to improve the way that sugar-based first generation ethanol is produced.

As part of the agreement, Raizen's current process for producing ethanol derived from sugar will be enhanced through the implementation of Codexis' CodeEvolver directed evolution technology platform.

The CodeEvolver will enhance the performance of yeasts deployed in ethanol production. Both Codexis and Raizen expect for pilot production to take place at Raizen's Bonfim mill. In 2010, Raizen manufactured 600 million gallons of ethanol.

Codexis will retain commercialisation rights and Raizen will receive preferential commercial terms. Successful developments under the collaboration will be covered by subsequent agreements. The collaboration may also include development for other products from sugar such as biobased chemicals.

Vasco Diaz, CEO of Raizen, describes the agreement as 'very timely, since sugarcane ethanol in Brazil clearly needs to continue improving productivity to achieve expected yields in the years to come'.

source: biofuels-news

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