Canada’s SunOpta to develop US cellulosic plant

20 November 2007 16:55  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS news)--Canadian biomass technology firm SunOpta BioProcess and Central Minnesota Ethanol Co-op (CMEC) plan to jointly develop a 10m gal/year commercial cellulosic ethanol plant in Minnesota, SunOpta said on Tuesday.


The new facility would use wood chips as feedstock and could later be expanded to 50m gal/year.


It would run on a SunOpta’s proprietary auto hydrolysis process, using only heat and steam to pre-treat and partially hydrolyse lignocellulosic materials, the company said, without disclosing investment costs. 


The process required no external chemical catalyst and water contained in the raw material feedstock would be efficiently utilised, eliminating the need for large external water sources, it said.


The plant would be built adjacent to CMEC’s 21.5m gal/year corn-based ethanol plant at Little Falls, Minnesota, SunOpta said.


“This plant is expected to be one of the first commercially viable cellulosic ethanol plants in the world,” it added.


By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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