16 July 2010 15:08 [Source: ICIS news]
TORONTO (ICIS news)--SunOpta is planning a demonstration project near Toronto to make cellulosic ethanol in co-production with xylitol, a sugar substitute, the diversified Canadian food and biofuels engineering firm said on Friday.
The company expected to select a site within the next two months, commercial development manager Christine James said. Capacities and financial details had not yet been finalised, she said.
The company said in a filing earlier this year that its subsidiary, SunOpta BioProcess, had been awarded Canadian dollar (C$) 5.5m ($5.3m) by ?xml:namespace>
The co-production xylitol was expected to improve project economics, it said.
Following completion of the demonstration project, SunOpta would consider building a commercial facility, with capacities for 10,000 tonnes/year of xylitol and 40m litres/year of cellulosic ethanol, it said.
John Cummings, an independent Toronto-based chemical industry analyst, said
Cummings noted that SunOpta's plan came as a large number of firms were racing to start up first commercial cellulosic production.
A number of those projects would co-produce higher margin products, such as xylitol, to improve their competitiveness, he said.
Last month, DuPont Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol (DDCE) - a joint venture between DuPont and Danisco - said it expected to start producing cellulosic ethanol on a commercial scale by 2013.
($1 = C$1.04)
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