Semi-continuous organosolv-steam explosion pre-treatment (LTU, SE)

The semi-continuous organosolv-steam explosion pre-treatment PL is capable of fractionating lignocellulosic biomass (e.g. agricultural and forest residues) to its three main polymer components, i.e. cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin. It offers unique advantages by combining the effects of steam explosion with that of hemicellulose and lignin solubilization (organosolv) in ethanol/water mixtures under pressure and temperatures up to 200oC. The Semi-continuous PL of LTU provides the additional benefit of solid/liquid separation that can take place during operation at high temperature and pressure, simulating the continuous organosolv operation mode.

pilot lines templates image
pilot lines templates image

Within the BIOMAC project we are upgrading the reactor to fully continuous system by adding a continuous biomass feeder with a capacity of 1-3 kg/h of biomass and solvent. The reactor will be capable to feed the biomass from room temperature and pressure to the main reactor while in operation (50-60% w/w ethanol/water as solvent, up to 200°C and up to 30 bar), producing a solid fraction as a press cake, containing mainly cellulose, a liquid fraction (the press juice) containing the solubilized hemicellulose, and lignin. During this upgrade most of the process, that is today manually controlled, will be automated.