The company claims that this breakthrough in the technology will help the second generation biofuels to become more cost-effective and to become a viable alternative to both first generation biofuels and conventional fossil fuels.

According to the company, its new technology is a result of two separate innovations, the first of which relates to its enzyme technology. By focusing its research on a fungal organism that thrives in compost heaps or on fallen trees, the company has identified enzymes that are able to break down biomass into its constituent sugars more efficiently compared to products and prototype formulations available in today’s market.

DSM’s second innovation lies in its new advanced yeast technology. Through classical strain improvement combined with metabolic engineering, the company has developed an advanced yeast strain that is capable of converting all the major sugar components found in biomass (both six carbon and five carbon sugars) to ethanol.

The combination of these two innovations will result in improved process economics and productivity for second-generation biofuel producers coupled with the sustainability benefits derived from the use of second-generation feedstocks, the company said.