American Science and Technology (AST), a sustainable technology company focused on providing R&D services to develop innovative processes that can produce cost-competitive renewable chemicals and materials from non-food biomass, has won a second patent (US 9,382, 283 B2) in as many months, related to its Organosolv pulping process. The new patent covers a system and method for oxygen-assisted delignification of lignocellulosic biomaterials and lignin recovery, which further improves the quality of the pulp produced by the AST Organosolv pulping process.
AST scientists successfully developed a new combination of Organosolv solvents and processes that can produce high purity lignin, bio renewable chemicals, and high quality pulp. The patented process delignifies the lignocellulosic biomass by dissolving lignin in organic solvent and converts most of the hemicellulose to biochemicals (such as furfural, butyl acetate, etc.). At the end of the process, high quality pulp is produced by taking advantage of a novel combination of oxidants. AST’s Organosolv-based pulp has been successfully tested for paper production as well as for high quality cellulosic sugar production. AST’s lignin, with high purity, has been used for various applications such as bio-renewable polymers, bio-renewable colorants for polymers, and as a base for composite materials.
“Traditionally, the pulping industry has considered pulp as the end product of their processes and the only value to the remaining lignin was for burning as a low energy density fuel,” said AST President and CEO, Dr. Ali Manesh. “The new processes developed and tested by AST, produce pulp, bio renewable chemicals, and pure lignin. Since the bio renewable chemicals and high purity lignin are more valuable than the remaining pulp, the overall pulping process can become much more profitable.”
American Science and Technology’s bio-refinery pilot plant, with a 2 ton per day processing capacity, is available to industry to provide process and product development support. Currently, AST’s facilities are being used by clients and strategic partners from a wide range of industries, including two Fortune 500 companies, to develop sustainable and economically viable processes to convert non-food cellulosic biomass into highly refined fermentable sugars, high purity lignin, high quality pulp, and organic solvents.