Lessons learned from pretreatment scale up
Wednesday, April 30, 2014: 11:00 AM
Grand Ballroom D-E, lobby level (Hilton Clearwater Beach)
Christopher R.W. Gerken and Jeremy E. Javers, R&D, ICM, Inc, St. Joseph, MO
Biomass pretreatment is a critical step in the biochemical conversion of lignocellulosic feedstocks to biofuels. The goals of pretreatment are to break down and to remove lignin and hemicellulose for better access of hydrolytic enzymes to the cellulose structure. Pretreatment is often believed to be the most expensive process in lignocellulose conversion to biofuels, but pretreatment likely contains the greatest potential for efficiency improvements. Because of the importance of pretreatment to biofuels production, ICM highlights how pretreatment scale up from lab to commercial reactors can be accomplished.  In this presentation, ICM first discusses the pretreatment development in conjunction with our Generation 1.5 process for corn kernel fiber.  Secondly, ICM turns the focus to Generation 2.0 pretreatment for the production of cellulosic ethanol from energy crops such as energy sorghum and switchgrass. The presentation will focus on important related aspects of feedstock storage, milling and handling as they relate to pretreatment, and the pilot scale optimization of low solids dilute acid pretreatment.  Out of the data presented, we have identified clear lessons learned in the development and scale up of integrated pretreatment systems.