Trillium FiberFuels Awarded $750,000 Grant to Develop Cellulosic Ethanol Technology
The United States Department of Energy (DOE) has just announced the 2009 awardees of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program. This award is a Phase II continuation that follows Trillium’s successful completion of Phase I during 2008 and early 2009. The SBIR process is highly competitive, and Trillium received the only Phase II DOE award in the State of Oregon this year. Trillium’s technology improves the ethanol yield from biomass by up to 40% by utilizing xylose, a common sugar that is not fermentable by brewing yeast. The two-year project will transition the process from laboratory scale to a pilot plant.
Xylose constitutes roughly one third of the available sugar in biomass, so efficient utilization is essential to good process economics. While most companies are hoping to exploit genetically engineered microorganisms to ferment xylose, Trillium’s unique approach uses an existing industrial enzyme to convert xylose into a sugar that is fermentable by brewing yeast. This makes Trillium’s solution ready to scale and robust in the industrial environment. READ MORE