Biorefinery technology

CelluAPP®

– The processing of biomass into pure profit for both business and the environment

Carbon-neutral raw materials for new environmentally friendly chemicals, biofuels and energy carriers

The forestry and timber industries, agriculture, the food and manufacturing industries. Many companies have one thing in common – cellulose-based by-products, a resource they do not know how to make best use of. Sekab has developed CelluAPP® in response to this need.

CelluAPP® makes it possible to process almost all forms of biomass into environmentally friendly, high-quality and marketable chemical products and raw materials such as biogas, cellulosic sugars, ethanol and lignin. Which in turn can be used as climate-neutral and high-quality raw materials in the manufacture of many of the everyday products around us such as cosmetics, hygiene articles, biofuels, plastics and pharmaceuticals.

The technology has been developed in Domsjö, where cellulose research goes back 100 years. In the biorefinery cluster outside Örnsköldsvik, we have, through intensive research efforts and continuous test runs of our pilot plant, refined a technology to take advantage of the value of residual products from forestry and agriculture. The goal: chemicals and fuels that do not require fossil resources or arable land and that meet the future requirements of environmental benefit and sustainability.

Today, we have a number of patents in everything from the digestion of biogas to the separation of lignin and the pretreatment of raw materials and we are at the forefront of international research.

CelluAPP® – an advanced product platform

CelluAPP® technology has been developed and verified in an industrial test environment through extensive continuous operating test runs in a demonstration plant. The demonstration plant, which in April 2013 was named the Biorefinery Demo Plant, is in close proximity to Sekab’s production facility and has been in operation since 2004. The development of CelluAPP® technology has covered everything from raw materials, chemical and biological processes, steering and monitoring technology to the integration with other production.

The result is technology with great potential for those of you who have biomass as a by-product or residual product of your business. With CelluAPP®, you can take advantage of an unused resource while at the same time do a great service to both the environment and the climate.

Unique benefits:

  • Online pre-treatment control
  • Hydrolysate conditioning
  • Optimum fermentation control
  • Covered by 194 patents

Cellulose

Using our biorefinery technology we can decompose cellulose

Cellulose is a carbohydrate that forms the major part of all plants’ cell walls and is thus the most common organic substance in nature.

Cellulose is relatively hard, making plants stiff and steady. The plant fibres consist almost entirely of cellulose and can be utilised by man in many ways. For example, the fibres of linen and cotton are made into thread and yarn, pulp and special viscose are made from wood fibres, and can then be converted into paper and textiles.

However, we humans cannot use cellulose as food. Our stomachs cannot digest it. Nevertheless, a small amount of plant fibres is good to keep your stomach in shape. The animals that are best at making use of cellulose are the ruminants, for example cows.

Biogas

CelluAPP technology can be used in the digestion of biomass into biogas. By pretreating the biomass, it can be effectively digested into biogas. This is a technology that can be used to increase production in pre-existing digestion chambers.

Fuel, Electricity and Steam

Our CelluAPP technology is effective in the conversion of lignocellulose into ethanol.

Using CelluAPP, the cellulose raw material is pretreated and additional sugars are released in the enzymatic hydrolysis. Yeast converts the sugar into ethanol. The lignin generated in the process can be used as fuel to produce electricity and steam.

Cellulosic Sugar

Sugar from lignocellulose

Sekab’s CelluAPP technology comprises process technology for the production of sugar solutions from lignocellulose. Basically, the raw material is pretreated so that sugar is released and the crystalline structure of the cellulose is broken down. More sugar is released through enzymatic hydrolysis. Using our CelluAPP technology we can extract cellulose sugar.

Cellulose sugar can be used in the production of many different types of biochemicals and biofuels.

Lignin

Lignin is an excellent fuel with high calorific value. Ligninet is also interesting for other applications, such as an admixture in concrete and in the production of other chemicals.

Lignin is also known as wood adhesive

Lignin is an important building block in biomass from our forest and agricultural reserves. Lignin joins up the fibres in the wood, that is, it makes the wood stiff. Lignin is found in high concentration in a layer called the middle lamella. It consists mainly of a very complex structure of phenylpropane, and not of sugar units. The lignin is brown in colour, which is clearly visible if rot has attacked and destroyed the light cellulose, which is wholly or partially embedded in the lignin. The wood remains are then brown. Hardwood/deciduous wood contains less lignin, which is also a different type of lignin, than that in coniferous/softwood. 25-30% of the wood comprises lignin.

Monica Normark

Do you want to know more? Contact me!

Monica Normark, PhD monica.normark@sekab.com +46 (0)660-794 80 +46 (0)70-230 14 86

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