American International BioSugars (AIB): Creating Sugar from Biomass

An artist’s rendering of AIB’s Standard Plant and its three-step process (from left to right): Step 1: maceration and pre-digestion Step 2: multiple reactors using proprietary enzymes Step 3: Separation of glucose from slurry

By Craig Evans, Renewable Energy Consulting Services, www.energy-inspirations.com

American International BioSugars, headquartered in West Palm Beach, Florida, has developed a cost-effective process for converting biomass and cellulosic wastes into a sugar solution.  The sugar produced by AIB’s scalable plug-and-play design is made up primarily of glucose, as well as other high-value sugars, such as xylose.

These sugars, in turn, can be used to produce biofuels such as ethanol.  They also can be used to make detergents, pharmaceuticals and bioplastics that provide environmentally-friendly replacements for a variety of petroleum-based products, such as PET bottles and interior car panels.

As Biofuels Digest editor and publisher Jim Lane wrote on January 15, 2014 in talking about Hot Sugars – Making Industrial Sugars into a Commercial Reality, “Affordable sugars are the lifeblood of an enormous range of companies. Some want to move away from food-based sugars because of cost, some want to avoid the volatility of commodity prices, some have customer demand for sugars made from non-food sources — in some cases, all three.”

The AIB technology features low production costs and high efficiencies.  It is a low-temperature enzymatic process that produces few impurities or inhibitors, regardless of the feedstock source.  It can utilize waste streams that can be obtained at no cost, save for transportation, or by accepting the wastes for a tipping fee (which then generates a negative feedstock cost).  It even can turn a liability into an asset by utilizing process wastes that have no economic value or that require expenditures for their disposal.

Among the variety of biomass feedstocks that AIB plants can use are crop wastes (such as wheat and barley straw and corn stover and corn cobs); leaves, grasses, yard and landscape wastes; energy crops (such as miscanthus and switchgrass); food wastes from food processors, restaurants and households; and paper, cardboard, newsprint and pulp paper wastes.

An AIB plant can be used as a bolt-on to an existing corn-to-ethanol or barley-to-ethanol plant to expand capacity.  It also can provide valuable feedstock flexibility and price stability and, thus, improve profitability.  Used in this way, the AIB technology can produce ethanol for less than the cost of $5 per bushel corn (taking into account the revenues from sales of the high-protein animal feed, distillers dry grains, or DDGs, that a refiner will receive as a byproduct from corn, but not not from the AIB-processed biomass).

For more information on the AIB technology, please email me at: www.energy-inspirations.com/contact-us

Photo Caption:    Top photo, from top to bottom: Step 1: maceration and pre-digestion Step 2: multiple reactors using proprietary enzymes Step 3: Separation of glucose from slurry

Artist’s rendering of AIB’s three-step process (from top to bottom):
Step 1: maceration and pre-digestion
Step 2: multiple reactors using proprietary enzymes
Step 3: Separation of glucose from slurry

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