24 Nov CleanTech gets $1.5M grant for cellulosic ethanol
Madison, Wis. – CleanTech Partners will receive $1.5 million from the U.S. Department of Energy for a project that will attempt to produce cellulosic ethanol at paper mills by extracting the sugars from wood chips before they are pulped for paper making.
Masood Akhtar, president of CleanTech Partners and principal investigator on the project, led the consortium that applied for the grant. Other participants included the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, paper companies, enzyme companies, and universities.
The project, which carries a total cost of nearly $2.7 million, has two major areas of emphasis:
• The use of enzymes, acids, and other additives to aid extraction of hemicellulose sugars from wood chips prior to pulping for paper fiber, while maintaining the value and quality of the pulp and paper products.
• High-yield conversion of the mixture of sugars and their fermentation to ethanol, with the recovery of marketable acetic acid as a co-product.
If the new technology proves to be successful, a typical Kraft-process paper mill could produce 10 to 15 million gallons of ethanol each year, without adversely affecting paper production or quality.
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