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Biorefinery

Our biorefinery process technology is designed to produce chemicals such as alcohols, solvents and other bio-chemicals from plant matter, wood waste and waste paper in a cost-efficient, low environmental impact way. Some of these chemicals are components in our engineered fuel blends. These fuel components are renewable and, in use, contribute no net carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas) to the atmosphere.

The biomass conversion technology developed by Pure Energy is flexible so that a variety of feedstocks can be processed with minor adjustment to the processing conditions. Since 1997 Pure Energy has been working with TVA (The Tennessee Valley Authority), who has been developing dilute acid hydrolysis technology for over 20 years. The base process can convert biomass feedstocks to sugars which can then be converted into fuels and chemicals.

As shown in the figure below, the base process involves feedstock preparation (size reduction) followed by a two-stage hydrolysis process. The resulting slurry contains lignin, ash and unreacted cellulose from the hydrolysis, which can be combusted to provide steam and/or electricity. The sugars from the hydrolysis can be treated in a variety of ways to produce a range of chemicals, some of which can be used in Pure Energy's fuels.

Some examples of the chemicals that can be produced are:
  • alcohols
  • organic acids
  • furans
  • aldehydes
  • esters
We have operated these systems in the laboratory, at the pilot scale and in a demonstration plant and now are preparing to scale up to a commercial size plant.

Biorefinery Diagram


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