Wausau, Wis. – American Science and Technology (AST), an emerging technology company, has been awarded a patent for a system and method for the extraction of chemicals from lignocellulosic biomass, which reduces the cost of Organosolv processing and increases the incentives to use renewable resources for chemical production.
Dr. Ali Manesh and group of researchers and engineers at AST have developed a new cocktail of organic solvents and a new process that drastically reduces both the cost of solvent usage and solvent recovery to increase the economic viability of their Organosolv pulping process. Before applying for the patent, the team both designed and built the required equipment as well as tested the process.
There are several Organosolv pulping processes that have been tested and patented by researchers and scientists, but most of them suffer from the high cost of solvents. AST’s process, by contrast, not only has drastically reduced the cost of solvent recovery, but also produces extra organic solvent that can generate a new income stream, allowing the Organosolv pulping process to be profitable.
AST’s Organosolv process fractionates lignocellulosic biomass to produce pure lignin, biochemicals, and high quality pulp. The patented process delignifies the lignocellulosic biomass by dissolving lignin into organic solvent, converting most of the hemicellulose to biochemicals (such as furfural, butyl acetate, etc.), and producing high quality pulp. AST’s Organosolv-based pulp has been successfully tested for paper production as well as for high quality cellulosic sugar production. AST’s lignin, with a very high purity, has been used for various applications such as bio renewable polymers, bio renewable colorant for polymers, and as a base for composite materials.
This patent is the first patent that has been issued to AST for Organosolv pulping processing. The patent application was filed by Beem Patent Law Firm in February, 2013 and issued on June 14, 2016