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Scaleup for a new delignification process

By Gerald Ondrey |

This month, Borregaard Industries Ltd. (Sarpsborg, Norway; www.borregaard.com) will start up an integrated, pilot-demonstration plant to further develop a new pretreatment process for converting biomass into lignin and fermentable sugars. Located at the company’s R&D Center in Sarpsborg, the pilot plant will convert up to two metric tons (m.t.) of feedstock per day. The fully integrated facility will operate continuously for at least three years, says Klaus Neumann, vice president Business Development. The so-called BALI process (for Borregaard Advanced Lignin), consists of two main steps, explains Neumann. The first involves the fractionation of lignocellulosic biomass by means of a chemical pretreatment, which renders the lignin water-soluble and leaves behind purified fiber. In step two, the fiber is hydrolyzed enzymatically — with high yields and low enzyme consumption — to supply cellulosic sugars (C5 and C6) for further conversion, he says. The BALI technology allows utilization of all fractions of lignocellulosic biomass — the water-soluble lignin can be converted into high-value chemicals, such as vanillin (a market for which Borregaard is a market leader), and the sugars fermented into ethanol for…
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