Renewable chemicals and biofuels
Celbius is developing its proprietary Sonobioprocessing - SBP - technology to convert biomass cost effectively into sugar streams for fermentation processes leading to renewable chemicals and biofuels. Lignocellulose is the most abundant renewable feedstock on the planet with annual production of > 200 B tonnes. A wide range of products can be prepared from lower cost sugars derived from non-food competing biomass. The common feedstock to multifarious fermentation operations is glucose, with over 30 M tonnes produced per annum, principally from food crops.
SBP is a biocatalysis process intensification technology which can help achieve large scale manufacture of glucose from waste biomass at an acceptable market cost. Product areas of interest to Celbius include:
Butanol is a biofuel, solvent and a chemical widely used in plastics, polymers, with a global market of $10B. Biobutanol, made by fermentation of non-food cellulosic sugars, is rapidly increasing its market share by displacing the petroleum derived product. Celbius aims to develop SBP for an improved fermentation process to biobutanol.
Bioethanol is a big part of the world’s transportation fuel supply and is made from corn, sugar and other biological feedstocks. It is blended into petrol / gasoline at around 5-10% by volume. However replacing up to 20% (and even up to 85%) with ethanol is a feasible and desired option. World production is around 85 B litres pa. In the UK AB Sugar built the first UK bioethanol facility with current production around 70 M litres. Celbius aims to develop SBP for an improved fermentation process to bioethanol.
Renewable and important platform chemicals
Lactic acid is used widely for a variety of products, for example in biodegradable polylactic acid (PLA), in solvents, as food acidity regulators, in preservatives and in a variety of personal consumer products such as cosmetics. There is a large and growing market for both D and L-lactic acid forms. Celbius is planning to develop unique bioconversion of carbohydrate feedstocks into lactic acid. Current production is largely derived from relatively expensive starch. Global production of L-lactic is >300,000 M tonnes with the UK market alone estimated at 20,000 M tonnes and $25-32M in value.
Succinic acid is an important platform chemical produced mainly by chemical processing. Celbius is planning to develop unique bioconversion of carbohydrate feedstocks into succinic acid. The global market is in excess of 35,000 M tonnes pa and worth over $250M with an average annual growth rate of 6–10% pa.