Novozymes, based in Bagsvaerd, Denmark, recently announced it is taking steps to build a demonstration plant for converting agricultural waste into ethanol in China, with the help of partners there. On the same day UOP Honeywell, based in Des Plaines, IL, and Boeing announced plans to work with Chinese partners to develop renewable aviation fuel .
The projects are part of an effort in China to find alternatives to petroleum, which it largely has to import–gas costs over a dollar more in China than it does in the United States. Demand is growing as the number of cars increases from 130 million today to an expected 200 million in ten years. The Novozymes plant, to be built in cooperation with China-based COFCO and Sinopec, will produce 3 million gallons of bioethanol a year. China’s agricultural waste could supply about 10 percent of the country’s oil consumption by 2020, according to Novozymes.