Biofuels Patent Issued For Lignin-Solvent Process
(JustMeans.com) A patent that opens the door for the creation of biofuels from abundantly available plant fiber has been issued to researchers at the Wisconsin Institute for Sustainable Technology (WIST) at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
WIST’s first patent is for a process that makes biofuels and other products from cellulosic plant material, including agricultural residues such as corn stover or plants grown specifically for fuel production, such as hardwood and softwood trees. The process is also a key step in making other high-value bioproducts.
“This gives us an economically viable way to use grass, trees or wood waste to make renewable fuels and chemicals,” said Eric Singsaas, associate professor of biology at UW-Stevens Point and co-inventor of the process, along with Don Guay, associate professor of paper science and engineering. “It also gives us a method to commercialize some of the work we’ve done at the university.”
…The patent protects a method that uses an aqueous solvent to separate biomass into pure cellulose and lignin, the substance that gives woody biomass its rigidity. The lignin-solvent mixture can then be separated from the water to form a high-energy-density fuel that can be used independently or combined with biodiesel. READ MORE