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Wood biorefinery pilot plant receives funding

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Wood biorefinery pilot plant receives funding

Ontario-based SunOpta BioProcess Inc will receive up to $ 5.5 million from Sustainable Development Technology Canada for a pilot integrated biorefinery to produce xylitol and cellulosic ethanol from woody biomass.


January 13, 2010
By Canadian Biomass

Jan.
13, 2010, Waterdown, ON – Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) has
awarded a project led by SunOpta BioProcess Inc up to $5.5 million in funding
for the construction of a pilot plant to demonstrate its integrated process
that aims to produce both food-grade xylitol (a sugar substitute) and
fuel-grade cellulosic ethanol.

Using wood
chips as feedstock, SunOpta's technology is projected to decrease process water
consumption by up to 75% compared to producing corn ethanol while retaining all
of the life-cycle carbon benefits inherent to cellulosic ethanol. The proposed
project involves the construction of a demonstration plant with a capacity to
produce up to 620 tonnes of xylitol and two million litres of cellulosic
ethanol per year.

According
to SunOpta BioProcess president Murray Burke, the integrated biorefinery
technology will produce xylitol, liquid biofuels from cellulose, and bioenergy
from lignin.

The SDTC funding for the project will be
leveraged with funding from members of its consortium, including Xylitol Canada
and Emerald Forest Sugars Inc.

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