New enzyme technology for low-pH liquefaction

New enzyme technology for low-pH liquefaction

Novozymes launches a new alpha-amylase enzyme solution that lowers pH during liquefaction to break down starch in a way that creates more dextrose.

Novozymes announced the launch of a new alpha-amylase enzyme solution that lowers pH during liquefaction. The solution is designed to break down starch in a way that creates more dextrose when compared to conventional alpha-amylases. The result is higher yields, and chemical, water and energy savings. The combined benefits can enable a starch processor save up to 1 USD per metric ton of substrate. 

Industry’s lowest total cost of conversion
Running at pH 5.5, the enzymes used for conventional starch liquefaction require the addition of chemicals to raise pH levels before liquefaction. Chemicals are added again at the end of the process to ensure the lower pH necessary for the next step in starch processing, saccharification. 

“LpHera brings the liquefaction pH level as low as 4.5 to 4.8. This means you can reduce your use of pH chemicals in some instances by more than 50 percent,” said Thomas Nilsson, global launch manager for food at Novozymes. “It also prolongs the ion exchange service cycle, which in turn enables more savings on chemicals, water and wastewater.” 

Liquefaction with LpHera also increases dextrose yields by 0.2 percentage points. As starch customers are processing large amounts of starch every day, such an increase can be significant. “Starch plants vary in size and can process from 0.2 to over 1 million ton of substrate each year,” said Nilsson. “So if a plant processes 0.5 million ton of substrate, the additional yield coupled with the energy, water and chemical savings associated with LpHera means that such a plant can save up to 0.5 million dollars per year compared to today’s technology.” 

Better for sweeteners and fermented products
“We see LpHera as bringing value beyond liquefaction,” Nilsson said. “Producers of high fructose syrup benefit from more efficient evaporation and water and energy savings. In crystalline dextrose production, it ensures higher crystallization yield, and when producing fermented products, it achieves higher yield and better byproducts with lower salt levels. LpHera is just the beginning of new and needed innovation for the starch industry.”  

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