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New Method Developed to Hydrolyze Biomass From Pulp and Paper Residues


Globex, Inc today announced the development of an innovative pre-treatment method for the production of bioethanol. This process is an integral part of the biomass conversion method to produce ethanol from cellulose. The method ensures high product yields that enhance revenues and reduce treatment costs. A technical description of this method provided by one of Globex's resident PhDs appears below.

GREEN ETHANOL PROCESS TECHNOLOGIES' new method presents many characteristics which reduces the cost of ethanol, by increasing the sugar ratio and reducing the presence of inhibitors that improves the alcohol production yield from the biomass. This new pre-treatment process is based on the use of supercritical fluid (SCF) technology. SCF technology is a state of matter between a liquid and a gas, which can be obtained in a high-pressure vessel. It has been recognized over the past 20 years as one of the most promising green chemistry mediums.

The conversion of lignocellulosic material to ethanol has been identified as one of the most effective methods to produce ethanol by using materials such as crops, wood chips and pulp and paper residues. This conversion can be obtained by two successive processes: (i) Hydrolysis of cellulose in the lignocellulose materials to fermentable sugars, and (ii) Fermentation of the sugars to ethanol. The hydrolysis is usually catalyzed by cellulose enzymes, and is limited by the lignin and hemicellulose contents as well as the porosity (accessible surface area) of the waste material. One of the main advantages of this new technology under development over the physical and chemical pre-treatment processes actually being used for hydrolysis of cellulose is that it overcomes the limitations related to the accessibility of the surface areas.

Globex also announced that its two resident PhDs discussed this new hydrolysis method related to bioethanol production with industry experts at the third annual World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioprocessing, held July 11-14, 2006 in Toronto, Canada. For further information on this event please visit: http://www.bio.org/worldcongress/.





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