Biomass constitutes one of the key sources of renewable energy and includes almost all plant or plant-derived material for generating fuels, power, chemicals, materials and other products. Of particular interest is its use for bio-ethanol that can be used as an alternative liquid fuel. Furthermore, it can be derived from sugar that is considered to be a viable conversion technology. For this purpose biorefineries are used to biologically process sugar into ethanol.
The newly developed process offers bioethanol production from various types of sugar waste. Aided by a diffusion extraction system, continuous processing takes place that is followed by compressing the damp wastes. The next step involves preparation of the sugar juice to optimal fermentation with selected yeast. The complete process can be optimised through automation that can reduce production costs, while increasing the quality of the end product.
Raw materials cover a wide range of sugar waste including starch, Jerusalem artichoke, waste sugar juice, and others. Apart from ethanol, other products that could be generated are sugars, such as insulin, or fructose. According to the end product, the process can be easily modulated to run under different parallel lines with the same equipment. This considerably reduces the cost and significantly increases the range and benefits of the products.
For the purposes of demonstration a pilot plant has been built that could be easily adapted to any modifications such as the extraction of natural products, and the alteration of control parameters and their parts. The generated wastes coming form the production of bio-ethanol could be used for covering the energy requirements of the process. A technical co-operation or commercial agreement with technical assistance is sought with partners involved in food, sugar or bioethanol production.
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Source: Cordis-news vom 2006-06-19.