Having more than 10 000 biomass fractionation trials under its belt, SciTech’s bench scale biomass conversion pilot plant is probably the most experienced player in this field, globally. At the laboratory, various wood species and different annual plants have been converted into cellulose pulps and lignin fractions. Isolating hemicelluloses is also a growing trend.
Today, no serious thinker can oppose the general idea of increasing the use of renewable resources to substitute for traditional fossil resources. However, translating this idea into sustainable industrial biomass conversion processes requires in depth understanding of biomass and its behavior in chemical and physical conversion processes. Biorefineries are not, and will never be exactly like oil refineries.
In contrast to oil and other mineral resources, lignocellulosic biomass has composite macrostructure and fibrous microstructure, both based on cellulose polymer. Such structure allows for, e.g., the use of wood as construction material, use of pulp in paper and packaging boards and cellulose polymer in textile fibres.
The versatile structural properties of lignocellulosic biomass also make it a challenging feedstock for chemical and biochemical conversion processes. As a rule, the progress of biomass conversion reactions is limited by factors rising from this heterogenic structure rather than simply by reaction kinetics observed in homogenous conditions. Furthermore, biomass is not biomass – they vary greatly depending on the source plant specie and growth conditions.
Pilot trials in bench scale is the right route to bring an altered or novel biomass fractionation process from laboratory scale to the readiness for industrial plant engineering. This conceptual engineering process is SciTech Service’s specialty.
The very successful Super Batch process of Metso as well as their novel FreeFiber process for non-wood feed stocks were both navigated from theoretical ideas into industrial readiness along this route. Using our bench scale pilot plant enabled doing this in a very cost efficient manner. We are pleased to be at your service, too.