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Posted by Susan Sharma on February 15, 2008

Clean cellulose from biomass wastes

Khaitan brothers have developed a clean technology, which enables clean cellulose from biomass wastes like rice, wheat straws and bagasse. Modified Kraft Chemical Recovery (MKCR) technology was developed in a straw pulping mill making paper. The black liquor coming out as an effluent from pulping of above wastes contains caustic soda, lignin and silica besides lime. MKCR enables:
· recovery of caustic soda,
· silica as a dry precipitate,
· energy from the lignin, which gets burnt as an unique Wet Mix Fuel in a cogeneration biomass boiler, raising steam and electricity which meet process needs and also a surplus which can be wheeled to the electricity supply grid.
· Lime is also recovered.
It uses biomass wastes like rice husk or straw to enable this recovery process of chemicals and energy. Hence all process needs will be met by biomass wastes and products are clean cellulose, caustic soda which gets recycled, silica as a dry precipitate, lime and energy from the lignin. The whole process would be net zero in GHG emission and energy positive in terms of energy balance and material balance.

Clean cellulose can be converted into many value added products as a basic carbohydrate. Up to 90% of the clean cellulose short fibres can be used in blends to make photocopier grade paper (Map Litho), substituting wood fibres from trees.

Clean cellulose can be hydrolysed into simple sugars. In fact a technology patent has been applied in India, which has already established in lab scale, conversion of alpha cellulose and hemi cellulose into C6 and C5 simple sugars. fermenting the sugars into ethanol is a simple step. Hence this process is unique in enabling clean cellulose production as a first step and then conversion into ethanol with higher process efficiencies in hydrolysis and fermentation stages. While Khaitan brothers have established the basics of the technology, it needs a pilot plant study before engineering and building a full scale commercial plant.

Present stage of development of the technology: They require funds as equity and / soft loan and invite an entrepreneurial partnership.

Contact: Mr Dinesh Khaitan: at New Delhi

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