Leaf Resources and Novozymes join forces in the conversion of biomass to functional sugars

Leaf Resources (Australia) is focused on making sustainable products from plant biomass. It has developed a patented biomass pretreatment process called GLYCELL*, which uses glycerine to economically produce cellulosic sugars.

Leaf Resources recently announced their cooperation with Novozymes, the world’s largest producer of industrial enzymes, to further increase the yields and efficiency associated with Leaf Resources’ innovative biomass conversion technology.

The GLYCELL technology operates at low temperature and pressure, and uses crude glycerin as a low cost, recyclable reagent. The process efficiently deconstructs plant biomass and produces a high-yield of high-quality, concentrated cellulose and hemicellulose sugars, which in turn enables cost competitive production of renewable chemicals.

biomass-to-sugars

As part of the collaboration, Novozymes will use its expertise in biotechnology to customize its broad portfolio of robust, high-yielding enzymes to the Glycell process. The goal of the collaboration is to design a highly tailored enzyme package and to allow the Glycell process to achieve superior performance, quality, and reliability for the production of high-value renewable chemicals. Leaf and its development partner, Claeris, LLC, will then incorporate Novozymes’ tailored enzyme package into the biomass pretreatment section of integrated bio-refineries.

“Production trials performed by independent third parties have validated the performance of the Glycell process and confirms both the unique nature and economic viability of our process,” says Ken Richards, Managing Director of Leaf Resources. “Our continued work with Claeris and a number of potential production partners confirms the strong interest of all stakeholders in large-scale renewable chemicals production, and we look forward to working with Novozymes to make it a reality.”

“The combined scientific expertise of our companies makes it possible to enhance the conversion of biomass to sugars which, when combined with the development expertise of Claeris, will help accelerate the development of renewable chemicals,” says Michael Burns, Head of Biorefining Business Development for North America at Novozymes. “There is a clear move towards sustainable chemical production and we believe the combination of Claeris and the Glycell process will help further enable the industry.”

The end of 2016 is rich with announcements related to technologies and partnerships allowing to refine biomass at reportedly lower costs and higher process yields and obtain high value renewable chemicals such as functional lignin, xylitols and other cellulosic sugars. Please refer to §26 of the detailed report on the European Bioplastics Conference 2016 to know more about the also promising biomass refining technology and process of Annikki (Austria).

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