Valmet provides prehydrolysis system to BPF

Fri. 17 January 2014

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Valmet Corp. has announced it will supply a prehydrolysis system to Bioprocess Pilot Facility BV’s (BPF) pilot plant, which is located in Delft, the Netherlands. The facility is a multi-purpose facility established by a consortium of industrial partners and educational institutions, led by Delft University of Technology.

The BFT was set up in cooperation with FE-Basic Foundation, an international public-private partnership that develops industrial biobased solutions.

According Valmet, its delivery consists of a pilot-scale prehydroysis system that has the capacity to handle 40 kilograms (88.18 pounds) of straw biomass per hour. The system is scheduled to be operational in August.

BRF’s pilot plant is designed to handle a variety of biomass sources. Key components of the pilot plant are biomass feeding, hydrolysis reactors and equipment for the separation of liquid and residual solid biomass after hydrolysis. The prehydrolysis set prepares biomass so that polysaccharides become accessible. It is used in the enzyme route for the production of cellulosic ethanol.

“After evaluating several systems, we have chosen the Valmet system, because of proven technology, experience and flexibility in using the system for several pretreatments and feedstocks. We think that we will be able to help our customers with improving their biobased processes,” said Hans van Leeuwen, director of the BPF.

Information published to the BPF’s website indicates the bioprocess pilot facility was established in May 2010. The 5,000 cubic meter facility includes piloting equipment, supporting labs and office space. It features modular pretreatment technologies, along with mid-scale and large-scale fermentation, downstream processing and separation capabilities, third generation bioconversion processes and training. The open-access facilities allows universities, companies and knowledge institutions from around the world to scale up biorefining technologies to the pilot scale.

According to information published by Valmet, its prehydrolysis system features a horizontal tube reactor that has been adapted to conditions applied in prehydrolysis, which is typically performed at acid conditions with high temperatures and pressures of up to 25 bar. An internal screw transports the biomass through the reactor.

Metso Corp.’s pulp, paper and power business was demerged to Valmet Corp. at the close of Dec. 31. The new company has indicated that it will sharpen its focus on the field of biomass-based energy production.

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Horizontal tube reactor

Valmet Corp. has developed horizontal tube reactors for prehydroysis of biomass.