Feasibility of Commercialization of a Pre-Pretreatment Process for Enhanced Biomass Saccharification

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-08ER85225
Agency Tracking Number: N/A
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: 13 a
Solicitation Number: DE-PS02-07ER07-36
Small Business Information
10903 Hunt Club Road, Reston, VA, 20190
DUNS: 800218856
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Guneet Kumar
 (443) 745-4196
Business Contact
 Praveen Paripati
Title: Mr.
Phone: (703) 736-0634
Email: praveen@suganit.com
Research Institution
Current methods to break-down biomass into simple sugars for fermentation constitute the core barrier to the production of ethanol with minimal energy and water input, and waste output. In particular, the present practice of enzymatically hydrolyzing biomass into its constituent sugars in aqueous media suffers from slow reaction rates. This project will develop an ionic liquid pretreatment process that substantially improves the efficiency of saccharification (hydrolysis of sugar polymers into monomeric sugar) of cellulose (the most recalcitrant biomass component) and hemicellulose. Ionic liquids are a new class of nonvolatile solvents that can be tuned to interact with a wide variety of compounds including cellulose. In Phase I, the processing method will be developed for high-solids loadings in the pretreatment step for variable biomass sources. In Phase II, the processing steps will be scaled up and developed at kilogram levels, in preparation for pilot scale demonstration (i.e., 10 % of full scale). Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: The ionic liquid pretreatment strategy should greatly accelerate the hydrolysis reaction, significantly reducing the cost of lignocellulose conversion to bioethanol ¿ cost savings of approximately 30% are anticipated for both capital costs and operating costs. In addition, because of their extremely low volatility, ionic liquids are expected to have minimal environmental impact on air quality compared to most other volatile solvent systems.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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