• Biofuels 'remove energy need' from biomass refinement
    Research suggests using biofuels as solvents can improve the refinement of biomass

Biofuel Industry News

Biofuels 'remove energy need' from biomass refinement

Jun 04 2010

The refinement of biomass for use as raw material in manufacturing can be made fully sustainable through the use of biofuels like ethanol, one researcher suggests.

Maria Gonzalez Alriols, an engineer at the University of the Basque Country, explains the benefits of using biofuels derived from the same biomass that is being refined.

An alternative is to use caustic soda in the refinement process; this relies on some of the energy contained in the sub-products of the biomass being released as part of the procedure, she says.

Because this energy value must be consumed as part of the refinement process, the procedure is neither clean nor fully efficient.

Ms Gonzalez Alriols argues that ethanol can be a useful solvent in improving the refinement of biomass using organosolv treatments.

Ethanol can be derived from the biomass itself, making the process cleaner, she adds.

Ms Gonzalez Alriols works in the chemical engineering and environmental department of the university's Polytechnic School.

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