Comet Biorefining announces cellulosic sugar technology

September 21, 2009
Sep. 21, 2009, London, Ontario - Comet Biorefining has applied for a patent for its cellulosic sugar technology. This transformative technology produces cellulosic sugar from a wide range of biomass such as wood chips, switchgrass, and corn cobs using a novel, low-cost pretreatment process. The resulting cellulosic sugar can be produced close to where the biomass is grown and then shipped to biofuels production facilities where it can be directly converted to biofuels such as cellulosic ethanol, without the need for on-site pretreatment. The cellulosic sugar has high energy density and is stable for months after pretreatment, allowing the material to be shipped by rail over long distances and stored like corn or grain.

"Comet Biorefining is pleased to introduce our game-changing cellulosic sugar technology. This technology produces a dense and shippable cellulosic sugar that fundamentally shifts the economics and logistics of biofuels production. By moving the pretreatment process out of the biofuels facility and close to the biomass source, this will drastically reduce both capital and operating costs for biofuels manufacturers and will allow biofuels technology developers to focus on their core business of developing novel microorganisms and fermentation processes for biofuels production," says Comet CEO and founder, Dr. Andrew Richard.

Comet Biorefining has demonstrated the technology at pilot scale and estimates that cellulosic sugar can be produced for as low as 7 cents per pound based on laboratory testing. "The key to success for the biofuels industry is low-cost sugar. Because our cellulosic sugar can be produced locally and shipped by rail, Comet Biorefining envisions small, modular, satellite pretreatment plants that can ship dense cellulosic sugar to much larger biofuels facilities," states Richard.

Comet Biorefining plans to build a demonstration facility in 2010 and to partner with biofuels technology developers to provide them with cellulosic sugar for their processes. Comet Biorefining's goal is to license its cellulosic sugar technology worldwide.

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