Low Energy Process
A low energy, efficient process to separate fibrous biomass into high value biochemicals.
Bio-Sep’s novel technology is capable of converting lignocellulosic biomasses (hard and soft woods, sugar cane bagasse, straws, grasses) efficiently, cleanly and economically into cellulose, sugars and lignin. The technology uses recoverable organic solvents, generates minimal waste and demands less energy than many other biorefining processes. Ultrasound is used to break the chemical bonds in the feedstock, producing high quality separated bio-chemical products. These products have a wide range of pharmaceutical, plastic, packaging, textile and material, food and drink supplement, cosmetic, personal and home care, veterinary and agricultural applications.
The process is designed to be modular and scalable, allowing for continuous production units of any size tailored to suit the needs of feedstock producers, chemical processors and product manufacturers. Application to various types of lignocellulosic biomass, initially forestry and eventually agricultural and plantation residues, gives this 2nd generation biorefinery technology wide applicability for all markets.
The Bio-Sep technology is ideally suited to address the needs of the forestry and agriculture through the following core values and features of the technology:
Low Energy and Improved Safety: The ultrasonic process permits a significant reduction in temperature and pressure, and therefore energy than comparable processes, making it simpler, safer and more cost beneficial.
Faster and more Efficient: While still the focus of optimisation, fractionation using the Bio-Sep technology is completed in less than 2 hours which is a considerable reduction in time than comparable processes. Furthermore, the process can be run in batch-continuous mode making fractionation more efficient and increasing throughput.
High-Quality Products: The relatively mild processing conditions do not lead to decomposition of the valuable products. Thus, hemicellulose sugars are recovered without hydrolysis and are high quality, lignin is recovered without extensive depolymerisation or sulfonation, and cellulose is recovered without damage. Non-sulfonated lignin, which has gained interest through its potential conversion to extremely high value products, is currently not widely available and our process opens up exciting new opportunities for this product.
Reduced CO₂ Emissions: Use of highly efficient ultrasound to effect fractionation leads to a significant reduction in energy demand and therefore CO₂ emissions compared to other technologies.
Flexible: This clean and simple process can be easily adapted to different types of lignocellulosic feedstock, and through modular construction it can be sized to suit the limitations of the supply chain and/or the market demand for the products.
PILOT DEMONSTRATOR PLANT
We have successfully demonstrated the technology at pilot scale. The pilot plant is currently being used to produce data and products for scale-up to a commercial bio-refinery.
Our pilot plant is a simplified and highly efficient single vessel set up that will combine slurry preparation, mixing and blending, chemical addition, heating/cooling and sonication activities.
Our single vessel plant demonstrates the simplicity of our separation process to potential partners, licensees, and investors. It is currently generating data, producing product samples and will continue function as the test rig for the scaled-up commercial unit.