NREL achieves sugar yields greater than 90% with low enzyme loadings on biomass

May 31, 2020 |

In Colorado, National Renewable Energy Laboratory researchers experimented with a common method in the pulp and paper industry used for bleaching to see how well this method could deconstruct biomass. The method known as “ozonolysis” was applied to corn stover in the lab.

Results showed that using ozonolysis helped to breakdown the biomass with a reduced amount of enzymes and chemical/power usage. In addition, the NREL researchers achieved sugar yields greater than 90%. Without ozonolysis, the sugar yields were 10% lower. Each of these benefits from the use of ozonolysis can reduce the cost of biofuel or bioproduct production.

Although this adds an extra step in the process, preliminary techno-economic analyses by NREL indicate that the performance advantages for the use of ozonolysis outweigh its costs and result in lower prices for sugar and downstream upgrading.

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Category: Research

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