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Chemicals from bagasse

By Tetsuo Satoh |

Toray Industries, Inc. (www.toray.us) and Mitsui Sugar Co. (both Tokyo, Japan; www.mitsui-sugar.co.jp) have started a six-year project to demonstrate the production of useful materials from bagasse, with support from the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Org. (NEDO; Kawasaki City, Japan; www.nedo.go.jp). Cellulose Biomass Technology Co. (CBT) — a joint venture (JV) established by Toray (67%) and Mitsui Sugar (33%) — plans to demonstrate the production of cellulosic sugar from the waste bagasse that is generated at the sugar factory. The cellulosic sugar will then be used as feedstock for making other useful chemicals. A demonstration plant is being constructed that will include pulverization, pretreatment, enzyme-saccharization and membrane-separation processes, and will process 15 ton/d of dried bagasse, which corresponds to the production of 1,400 ton/yr of cellulose sugar. Among the new technologies to be demonstrated are: energy-saving, membrane-based separation technology, developed by Toray; and extraction technology, developed by Mitsui Sugar. The high-quality cellulose sugar product can be used as a feedstock for making useful bio-chemicals and chemicals, such as ethanol, lactic acid, succinic acid, poly-phenol…
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