(27a) Process Development of Streams Rich in Fermentable Sugars From Ensiled Biomass for Chemical and Biofuel Production

Parekh, S., Sweet Water Energy

The recent volatility of petroleum prices is stimulating the chemical and biorefining industry into diversify its raw material feedstock, using broad-base sugar platform technology for biofuels and the production of specialty chemicals. Corn silage and energy crops like sweet sorghum are widely recognized as the promising high-volume, low-cost lignocelluloses feedstocks to derive C5 and C6 rich sugar streams that can be bioconverted into biofuels and chemicals.

This presentation will review Sweetwater Energy's overall approach to decentralizing the bioconversion process, to generate adequate quantities of sugar-rich streams that can be produced at the biomass-generation site, and then transferred to a regional refining site for the production of biofuels. This talk will summarize: 1) importance of innovative biomass harvesting and storage technologies to efficiently and economically transfer ensiled biomass from the field to the bioprocessing site, 2) characterize the physical and chemical properties that enable optimum bioconversion process, 3) specific pretreatment conditions and various process strategies for deriving streams rich in C6 and C5 sugars for biofuels production, and 4) review recent advances made at Sweetwater Energy in enhancing and improving the ability to process and ferment a wide range of pretreated biomass into ethanol and advanced fuels such as bio-jet fuel.