The First Step to Higher Yield
Pretreatment is widely classified as the second most expensive unit cost in the conversion of biomass to bio-products. The goal of the pretreatment process is to breakdown lignin and increase the accessibility of the pre-treated biomass to saccharification.
At ABPDU, we take a holistic approach to all unit operations, starting with pretreatment. Our focus is on final yield and product cost. We monitor important factors like the loss of biomass to degradation products and inhibitors generated during the pretreatment process that could reduce fermentation or chemical conversion yields.
Getting the most value
We know that no single pretreatment technology offers 100% conversion of carbohydrates into fermentable sugars. In developing an optimum pretreatment process, we place importance on the following:
- The most effective pretreatment catalyst for a given feedstock
- The compatibility of the feedstock-pretreatment catalyst combination
- The possibility of generating co-products, primarily from lignin
- Opex and capex investments
- Energy requirements for solid-liquid handling, separation, etc.
- Co-product value and residue disposal costs at scale
An Optimum Pretreatment Process
Biomass and feedstock diversity, high biomass loading, product and chemical recovery, and process integration for scale up compound the challenges of obtaining the highest yielding pretreatment process.
Our many advantages help us to design the best process for your specifications:
- A broad range of aqueous phase thermochemical pretreatment processes that are suitable for the widest range of biomass and feedstock
- The ability to combine two or more pretreatment processes to achieve the best results across downstream unit operations.
- Careful analysis of the factors that will achieve the best process economics
- Meticulous assessment of the feasibility of integrating with downstream technologies and deploying the technology at a commercial scale.
Pretreatment Process Options
Mechanical Biomass Size Reduction
Related Papers, Articles, and Presentations
Predictive modeling to de-risk bio-based manufacturing by adapting to variability in lignocellulosic biomass supply
This study develops a predictive model to optimize biomass blends for commercial-scale biorefinery processing
Mixed feedstocks can help reduce the risk associated with feedstock availability for bio-based production of fuels and chemicals.
Two case studies exploring conversion technologies for municipal solid waste. One is a partnership INL, and the other is a collaboration with FATER.
Switchgrass with 10% and 20% dry matter loss and corn stover with 30% dry matter loss achieved higher sugar yields during biomass conversion
Predictive modeling was used to evaluate and optimize traditional pretreatment methods for biomass mixture compositions to maximize sugar yield and minimize furfural production.
Municipal solid waste and corn stover blends present great potential to meet quality and cost requirements for sugar conversion.
The collaboration with INL and SNL demonstrated 600-fold (10mL to 6L) scale up of MSW/CS blends.
Post-consumer absorbent hygiene products can be economically converted to fermentable sugar intermediates, biofuels, and bio-based products
Municipal solid waste (MSW) represents an attractive cellulosic resource for sustainable fuel production. However, its heterogeneity is the major barrier to efficient conversion to biofuels. MSW paper mix was generated and blended with corn stover (CS) in an ionic liquid process.
Technologies developed to generate bio-based products are based on single feedstock types. While this approach is applicable for corn stover in the MidWest, for states such as California, with abundant but diverse feedstocks, technologies should be developed to accommodate multiple feedstock input to a single biorefinery.