SBIR Phase I: Wheat Straw to Purified Cellulose Fiber Utilizing Novel Reactive Fractionation Process
National Science Foundation
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Small Business Information
PureVision Technology, Inc.
511 N. McKinley Ave., Ft. Lupton, CO, 80621
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractThis Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project proposes to demonstrate the feasibility of producing biofibers from wheat straw using a novel biomass fractionation technology. This fractionation process separates lignin and hemicellulose from biomass, leaving a relatively pure cellulose fiber fraction that is easily hydrolyzed enzymatically to sugar. The sugar can then be converted to fuel ethanol and a variety of other chemicals, but there may also be markets for the cellulose fiber itself. The patented process for fractionation of lignocellulose employs a counter-flow alkaline wash with progressive wet oxidation (reactive fractionation). The process emphasizes cellulose purity as a key feature of pretreating lignocellulosic materials. This Phase I project will employ the reactive fractionation process to extract the fibers from wheat straw, to evaluate them for fiber material applications such as paper, fiberboard, or dissolving pulp, and to assess the process economics of fiber production. The commercial application of this project is in the area of biomass processing to produce valuable products (eg. biofibers). These biofibers could find use in paper, non-paper, and engineered materials markets. The benefits of using wheat straw as a source of fiber includes potential economic benefits to farmers, the environmental benefits of recovering agricultural residues, and reduction of energy and resources required to produce, harvest and transport virgin fibers from conventional sources.
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