Pilot Scale Pretreatment

In the flexible pilot scale pretreatment unit, the premilled 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.

A variety of chemical and/or physical treatments of biomass can be applied, e.g. autohydrolysis, acidic and alkaline treatments, liquid hot water, SO2, steam explosion (catalyzed/uncatalyzed). A flexible system allows hydrolysis to occur in (two) stages to maximize sugar yield from the hemicellulose and cellulose fractions of biomass.

The first stage can be operated under different conditions, to hydrolyze hemicellulose, while the second stage can be optimized to hydrolyze the cellulose fraction. Liquid hydrolyzates can be recovered from each stage.

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).