Chempolis’ biorefining technology – based on its family of formico® processes – offers a profitable and highly sustainable route for making use of non-wood and non-food materials to produce highquality end-products.
Increasing quantities of agricultural residues will be needed to make paper in the future, as insufficient wood is available in the world’s fastest-growing paper markets, forest resources are declining, and growing environmental pressures are being put on the use of wood.
Residual non-wood materials such as straw, bagasse, and reeds, on the other hand, are widely available in large volumes in countries like China and India, and are inexpensive. More than 5 billion tonnes of these agricultural residues are generated annually, which is more than 10 times the amount of wood used annually by the world’s pulp and paper industry.
|Chempolis’ formico® technology makes it possible to put a variety of non-wood and non-food agricultural residues to work in local integrated mills with a very low energy and water usage footprint.
A family of technologies
The new technologies developed and now being licensed by Chempolis are designed to address this resource challenge and offer an environmentally friendly way of producing pulp, biofuels, and biochemicals based on non-wood and non-food inputs.
Designed for producing high-quality pulp for paper and board, packaging, and hygiene products, Chempolis’ formicofib™ process offers better chemistry than current technologies, is simpler, and also requires lower levels of chemical and raw water inputs. This makes for a highly streamlined cost structure. As the process helps preserve forest resources and does not generate net carbon dioxide emissions, it is also very sustainable.
Formic acid is the key chemical in the biosolvent used in this and other formico® processes. The acidic environment this creates prevents silicates from dissolving, and makes it possible to completely recover chemicals, dissolved solids, and water. Recovered dissolved solids can be combusted, generating sufficient energy to cover the needs of the process.
|To avoid creating new problems by using food crops as raw materials, the only long-term way forward for biofuels, believes Chempolis, is to use non-food feedstocks, such as agricultural residues and dedicated energy crops cultivated on marginal land.
formicobio™ has been designed as a thirdgeneration technology for manufacturing highgrade biofuels, particularly bioethanol, from the same types of raw materials. Thanks to its simple but advanced chemistry, formicobio™ avoids the main problems associated with other technologies developed for non-food raw materials.
The third member of the formico® family is the formicochem™ process, which can be added to a formico® biorefinery to enable the coproduction of bioacetic acid, furfural, and lignin.
In addition to being the main component of vinegar, acetic acid is used as a raw material in producing paints, adhesives, and plastics; while furfural, a trace compound found in brandy and bread, is used industrially as a solvent and a raw material for resins.