Pretreatment and Hydrolysis

In the pretreatment and hydrolysis pilot plant, dry and wet biomass residues can be pretreated, hydrolysed and prepared for the fermentation phase.

A large variety of lignocellulosic feedstocks (e.g. straw, bagasse, corn stover) as well as other co-products from agricultural, forest or waste origin can be handled. In our feedstock receival and size reduction area, the feedstock is treated to be fed into the bench scale or pilot scale pretreatment unit.

Bench Scale Pretreatment Unit

The bench scale unit is a flexible 2-stage system located in an ATEX environment, enabling a large variety of chemical and/or physical pretreatment processes, e.g. acidic and alkaline treatment, liquid hot water, ammonia, SO2, organosolv, ionic liquids, oxidizing agents, steam explosion (catalysed/uncatalysed). The capacity of a batch (feed basis) at the bench scale unit is approximately 4 kg biomass.

Pilot Pretreatment Unit

In the flexible pilot scale pretreatment unit, the pre-milled and “cleaned” feedstock can be treated at different processing conditions to investigate the maximum conversion towards fermentable sugars and the removal of the lignin fraction. Operating in two stages the capacity of the pilot scale unit (approximately 40 kg dry biomass per hour) enables delivery of sufficient sugar material for pilot scale fermentations (4 m3 and 8 m3).


Cellulosic fractions of feedstocks originated from the pretreatment unit or externally received process streams can be enzymatically hydrolysed. For the hydrolysis of these process streams, BPF has vessels of up to 10 m3 available, enabling hydrolysis at both high and reduced viscous conditions. In addition, bench scale facilities are available to study enzymatic hydrolysis of (high solids) feedstocks to produce fermentable sugars for lab scale fermentation.

Pre Hydrolysis 1

40 kg/h prehydrolysis reactor system