29th September 2016

NPT Pilot Plant – PYROLYSIS – Update Q3

In late May NPT commissioned its 20 kilo/hour pyrolysis pilot having successfully completed independent runs of the preceding hemicellulose hydrolysis stage earlier in the year.

The hydrolysis step is producing ~90% yields of monomer sugars from birch chips with potentially valuable co-products, furthermore the hydrolysis has already demonstrated consistently high yields across a range of feedstocks including: hardwoods, softwoods, sugarcane bagasse, palm fronds, empty fruit bunches, wheat straw and corn stover.

The new pilot plant for the REFNOVA® thermolysis step (shown operating in these videos) takes the pre-treated biomass solids – the output from the hemicellulose hydrolysis – (as covered by NPT’s process patent) and produces high-purity C6 anhydrosugars for onward conversion to sugars, biofuels and chemicals. Ketones and aldehydes are also produced at this stage as well as lignin char for process energy. At commercial scale excess energy is forecast for the overall process – enabling additional revenues from electricity sales.

Early runs of the pilot plant’s steam thermolysis step with birch chips supplied by one of NPT’s upstream collaborator’s have been extremely informative with good initial sugar yields that we expect to improve further over the coming weeks as the technical team optimise process conditions.

Hydrolysis Output (entering Pyrolysis stage) Feedstock – Birch chips

Pyrolysis Output (Levoglucosan – unfiltered) Feedstock – Birch chips