Xylitol Canada Inc. is pleased to announce that the Company has completed pilot demonstration of its cellulosic xylose process. The successful three month campaign proved out critical process and economic metrics needed to advance into commercial scale detailed engineering.
Xylose is a simple sugar used for the production of xylitol. Since 2008, Xylitol Canada has been working closely with leaders in the biochemical industry to develop a process that can produce the most environmentally sustainable xylose and xylitol available. The process minimizes waste by eliminating the need for harsh acids and other chemicals that are used to produce imported xylitol. Using a combination of steam and enzymes, Xylitol Canada is able to produce xylose with significantly less waste. The Company’s xylose commercialization strategy focuses on strategic ‘biorefinery’ partnerships. In biorefineries, biomass waste from one company’s production is the feedstock for another’s production. Xylitol Canada’s waste can be used to produce higher value biochemicals and transportation fuels.
The recently completed trial builds on previously completed pilot scale work by integrating the Xylitol Canada process from end-to-end in a single facility. Representative aspen hardwood was used as feedstock. Trial results were consistent with laboratory experiments, supporting the technical feasibility of process scale-up. The Company’s model analysis demonstrated potentially attractive investment returns and generally supports moving forward with engineering development of a commercial scale facility. A commercial facility is being designed to produce up to 10,000 tonnes of xylose per year from sustainably harvested North American hardwood.
Mark Turner, Director of Technology, recognized these results as critical in supporting the growing demand for North American xylitol. “From a commercial standpoint, this testing milestone is significant to our goal of becoming the low cost leader in North American made xylitol. What this means, very simply, is that our technology works at the current testing scale, and we now have a demonstrated basis to pursue commercialization of our process. Our raw materials are inexpensive, abundant, and renewable. We believe the economics and our demonstrated process can allow us to compete globally with a high quality, domestically produced xylitol.”
Andrew Reid, President and CEO of Xylitol Canada, observed that the trials have been in development since 2008, and represent a significant milestone for the Company. “By completing these trials, we have confirmed our position as a leader in identifying sustainable new sources of xylitol in North America. These types of technology advances and partnerships are a necessary step that will allow us to competitively promote North American xylitol for domestic consumers. We are proud of the significant progress we’ve made over the last few years, and are excited to continue our pursuit to become a leading producer of North American xylitol.”
About Xylitol Canada Inc.
Xylitol Canada markets xylitol and xylitol based-products and is focused on becoming a major low-cost manufacturer of xylitol and related products, serving the global market from operations in North America. Xylitol Canada’s business strategy is to leverage novel proprietary technology and processes to become North America’s premier manufacturer of low cost, high quality xylitol from readily available environmentally-sustainable biomass.
Xylitol is an all-natural sweetener which is marketed globally including Canada and the United States and is accepted by the American Food and Drug Administration, the World Health Organization and the American Dental Association. Xylitol contains 75% less carbohydrates and 40% less calories than sugar, has a myriad of oral health benefits including the prevention of tooth decay and is safe for diabetics. To date, wider spread use of xylitol has been limited by the lack of a reliable, low cost, high quality supplier.
Source: Xylitol Canada, press release, 2013-06-13.