Industrial Membrane Filtration and Short-bed Fractal Separation Systems for Separating Monomers from Heterogeneous Plant Material

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Large-scale displacement of petroleum will come from low-cost cellulosic feedstocks such as straw and corn stover crop residues. This project has taken a step toward making this projection a reality by reducing capital and energy costs, the two largest cost factors associated with converting cellulosic biomass to chemicals and fuels. The technology exists for using acid or enzyme hydrolysis processes to convert biomass feedstock (i.e., waste cellulose such as straw, corn stover, and wood) into their base monomeric sugar building blocks, which can, in turn, be processed into chemicals and fuels using a number of innovative fermentation technologies. However, while ... continued below

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Kearney, M; Kochergin, V; Hess, R; Foust, T; Herbst, R & Mann, N March 31, 2005.

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Description

Large-scale displacement of petroleum will come from low-cost cellulosic feedstocks such as straw and corn stover crop residues. This project has taken a step toward making this projection a reality by reducing capital and energy costs, the two largest cost factors associated with converting cellulosic biomass to chemicals and fuels. The technology exists for using acid or enzyme hydrolysis processes to convert biomass feedstock (i.e., waste cellulose such as straw, corn stover, and wood) into their base monomeric sugar building blocks, which can, in turn, be processed into chemicals and fuels using a number of innovative fermentation technologies. However, while these processes are technically possible, practical and economic barriers make these processes only marginally feasible or not feasible at all. These barriers are due in part to the complexity and large fixed and recurring capital costs of unit operations including filtration, chromatographic separation, and ion exchange. This project was designed to help remove these barriers by developing and implementing new purification and separation technologies that will reduce the capital costs of the purification and chromatographic separation units by 50% to 70%. The technologies fundamental to these improvements are: (a) highly efficient clarification and purification systems that use screening and membrane filtration to eliminate suspended solids and colloidal material from feed streams and (b) fractal technology based chromatographic separation and ion exchange systems that can substitute for conventional systems but at much smaller size and cost. A non-hazardous ''raw sugar beet juice'' stream (75 to 100 gal/min) was used for prototype testing of these technologies. This raw beet juice stream from the Amalgamated Sugar LLC plant in Twin Falls, Idaho contained abrasive materials and membrane foulants. Its characteristics were representative of an industrial-scale heterogeneous plant extract/hydrolysis stream, and therefore was an ideal model system for developing new separation equipment. Subsequent testing used both synthetic acid hydrolysate and corn stover derived weak acid hydrolysate (NREL produced). A two-phased approach was used for the research and development described in this project. The first level of study involved testing the new concepts at the bench level. The bench-scale evaluations provided fundamental understanding of the processes, building and testing small prototype systems, and determining the efficiency of the novel processes. The second level of study, macro-level, required building larger systems that directly simulated industrial operations and provided validation of performance to minimize financial risk during commercialization. The project goals and scope included: (1) Development of low-capital alternatives to conventional crop-based purification/separation processes; and (2) Development of each process to the point that transition to commercial operation is low risk. The project reporting period was January 2001 to December 2004. This included a one year extension of the project (without additional funding).

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  • Report No.: NONE
  • Grant Number: FC36-01ID14016
  • DOI: 10.2172/838864 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 838864
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc787897

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • March 31, 2005

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  • Dec. 3, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

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  • Aug. 30, 2016, 7:02 p.m.

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Kearney, M; Kochergin, V; Hess, R; Foust, T; Herbst, R & Mann, N. Industrial Membrane Filtration and Short-bed Fractal Separation Systems for Separating Monomers from Heterogeneous Plant Material, report, March 31, 2005; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc787897/: accessed November 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.