Skip to main content

Fueling the Future

New Fuels:

New crops and "designer" enzymes from biotechnology labs are being used to manufacture bioethanol, a non-polluting fuel made from plant material that can be used in place of petroleum. Using renewable resources such as cellulose from tobacco or wood, or agricultural waste, to produce a cleaner fuel, is a win-win benefit for the environment and for North Carolina's economy.

Cleaner Air, Water, & Soil:

Plants and bacteria can be used to safely clean up oil spills and remove toxic chemicals and other pollutants from our air, water, and soil.

New Materials:

Researchers have genetically engineered cells so that they can use plant sugars instead of petroleum-based chemicals to create biodegradable plastics and polyesters. "Green plastics" made from corn are being used to manufacture packaging materials, clothing, and bedding.

Enabling Cleaner Manufacturing

Novozymes North America uses environmentally friendly manufacturing processes to make environmentally friendly products. Novozymes harnesses the chemical productivity of microorganisms through fermentation to create over 600 enzyme products, many of these at its facility in Franklinton. These products are used in industry worldwide for everything from processing cotton to making stone-washed denim to brewing beer and treating wastewater.

Novozymes products used in treatment of cotton textiles result in a 25 percent to 30 percent reduction of the process's impact on the environment by lowering energy consumption and the release of acid wastes. In 2005, Novozymes received the Environmental Protection Agency's Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award for its innovative use of biotechnology to make healthier fats and oils.