Bio-Process Group has developed a proprietary ‘Low Temperature Steep Delignification’ (LTSD) technology that reduces capital and operating costs associated with pulp production and improves yield in non-wood pulping. The process was originally designed and developed as a pretreatment for biomass in the production of cellulosic ethanol over ten years ago. Upon realizing that the process created a very high quality fiber the process has been further developed and optimized over the past five years for making ag-pulp. Our design is zero effluent, low water and energy use, and mostly done under 100 degrees C(atmospheric pressures). Testing the LTSD process on a wide variety of biomass sources has proven the technology to be quite robust. Below are some of the most promising Ag-residues we have focused on.
Rice hulls are a low value by-product produced by rice millers on a daily basis. The Bio-Process Group has developed a process to recover pulp, silicates, and bio-char from these rice hulls. There are about 10 million tons of rice grown in the US, which is associcated with about 2 million tons of rice hulls, with over 50% produced in Arkansas. The Bio-Process group is planning on building 3 rice hull bio-refineries in AR and has been producing examples of pulp and silicates for prospective end users.
Bio-Process Group Rice hull Pulp
Corn stover can be recovered from fields after corn harvest. It has been determined that about 50% can be taken from the fields in a sustainable manner, with 50% left for soil fertility. There are two groups producing cellulosic ethanol from corn stalks currently, and pulp would be a higher value use. The Bio-Process Group has made several pilot scale trials of pulp from corn stalks and had that pulp evaluated as being 'very marketable' by a major pulp marketing company.