Biotech Updates

Wood Biomass Biotech for Biofuel

December 21, 2011

By 2020, the European Union requires all fuel to contain 10 percent biofuel. Butanol derived from renewable sources is the most suitable candidate to fulfill this requirement since among other things, more than 20 percent butanol can be added to fuel without having to make any changes to existing combustion engines.

Wood Biomass research at Aalto University focuses on the use of biomass in the production of biofuel. They developed an efficient technology combining modern pulp and biotechnology in the production of biofuel. The new technology involves boiling of wood biomass in a mixture of alcohol and sulphur dioxide and the wood components cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin are separated afterwards. Cellulose can be used as a raw material for paper production and hemicellulose becomes an efficient microbe raw material for chemical and butanol production. Results of findings have been published in scientific journals such as Bioresource Technology.

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