Pretreatment Formulation for Recalcitrant Feedstock for Biofuel Conversion Processes

Market Overview:

The US and other countries are looking to biofuels as an alternative to foreign oil, however, many methods of producing biofuels are expensive and have questionable environmental credentials compared to fossil fuels. Clemson University researchers have created a method that makes the conversion of biomass feedstocks to biofuel and other products more effective. This invention makes extracting sugars from cellulosic feedstocks, such as wood chips, more efficient by increasing the output and decreasing the temperature required for the reaction. The novel pre-treatment formulation helps break up the crystalline structure of the cellulosic material and make sugar extraction easier. This can aid in the creation of biofuels, enzymes, and biochemicals as a part of numerous processes.  This technology has exceeded an greater than 70% in coastal loblolly pine and a 80% conversion in sugarcane bagasse of total available glucose (C6).

The effects of different formulations of the same solvent at lower temperature on the production of sugars yield (mainly glucose and xylose).  The higher sugars yield will reduce cost of production and also increases the efficacy of the process to remove lignin or phenolic compounds. The generated lignin has higher quality compared to acid-generated process and alkaline-generated process.

Applications:

· Converting cellulosic feedstock to biofuels, enzymes, biochemical

· Economic Integration of biorefineries can be used to make many products, lowering dependence on any one application

Benefits:

· Enhances ability to produce biofuel without using food crops

· Robust pretreatment for various kinds of lignocellulosic feedstock including but not limited to pine wood chips, sugarcane bagasse, sweet sorghum bagasse, and switchgrass.

· Better chemical formulation results in higher feedstock-to-sugar conversion rate 

· Lower required temperature means reduced energy consumption

· Minimize the processing time compared to soaking in aqueous ammonium hydroxide

· Minimize the use of unit operations i.e. lignin press, reverse osmosis and decanter centrifuge

· Eco-friendly and safe process

 

Inventors:                        Arpan Jain and Terry H. Walker

Protection Status:           Patent application filed

Licensing Status:            Available for licensing

Additional Terms:          Biofuel, enzyme, biochemical, pretreatment, cellulose

CURF Ref No:                2012-020

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Chris Gesswein
Director of Licensing
Clemson University Research Foundation
agesswe@clemson.edu
Inventors:
Arpan Jain
Terry Walker
Keywords:
Agriculture
Green Technology
Power and Energy
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