EDT’s early roots came from work conducted in the 1970’s and 1980’s by Dr. Karl-Erik Eriksson in Sweden on the basic mechanisms of wood and cellulosic degradation. It had been common knowledge that leaves and fallen trees decomposed by action of fungal and microbial organisms. However, the specific mechanisms by which this occurred were not well understood. Dr. Eriksson drove a leading effort to decipher the enzymatic mechanisms by which these microorganisms derived energy from cellulosic decay. This pioneering work earned Dr. Eriksson the Marcus Wallenburg Award, the leading annual research award in the industry, in 1985.
Eriksson’s true goal, however, was to advance beyond simply understanding these enzymatic mechanisms and to explore their use to partially or fully obviate traditional chemistries and energy used in pulp and paper processing. Though the key enzymatic raw materials were not yet available in industrial quantities, this early work helped lead to their eventual creation.
Eriksson came to the University of Georgia in 1988 as the first Eminent Scholar of a state-wide program to attract leading researchers to the state. He continued his work, focusing more closely on mill-scale application issues. EDT was formed in 1994 when Eriksson met with entrepreneurs and investors who had pulp, paper and biotechnology backgrounds and shared his vision of how enzyme-based treatments could transform the industry.
Headquartered in metro Atlanta, Georgia, USA on an 11-acre site, EDT conducts its basic and applied research and commercialization efforts on a broad array of applications spanning both recycled and virgin pulp and paper processing. Enzymatic treatments for recovered fiber processing, improved extractives management in mechanical pulping, bio-bleaching of kraft pulps, and corporate sustainablility work are some of the key areas of focus for the company. Application development work includes strategic issues such as energy reduction and increased ability to use more problematic but less costly furnishes and fiber sources to improve the bottom-line economics of mills.
EDT is a rapidly-growing company, employing top scientists and application specialists in this field, and has established cooperative relationships with enzyme development groups around the world. EDT's consultative sales and service personnel help mills better understand their processes as well as avenues for EDT to create value. EDT sponsors continuing development work at a variety of academic and research institutions, and the company's connections with global biotechnology companies and small research groups alike ensure that EDT’s products will always be at the forefront of industrial enzyme technology.