Sugar Platform

Beyond sugar, molasses and steam

Sugarcane is the world's largest crop and its potential as a feedstock for products other than sugar is hardly utilised. Our primary interest is in the valorisation of the C5 sugars (pentoses), which are found in the hemicellulose (pentosan) structure of cane. The µ-BioRefinery™ benefits from DalinYebo experience in developing and commercialising IP (dalinyebo.com/technologies) for the manufacture of furfural (dalinyebo.com/furfural).

µ-BioRefinery™ will not make crystal sugar and therefore applies the best proven technologies for the co-production of:
sugar juice for conversion into ethanol
furfural from the pentosans
initially steam/electricity, later cellulosic ethanol form the lignocellulosic residue
and possibly the waxes from the cane's epidermal layer

Complimentary/Alternative: Sweet Stem Sorghum

Sweet stem sorghum (SSS) is particularly suitable as a feedstock for a variety of bioprocesses, largely because of its high yields of both lignocellulosic biomass and fermentable saccharides.

The  juice of SSS is rich in fermentative sugar and is a excellent feedstock for the production of 1G ethanol. The SSS bagasse is suitable for combustion as well as 2G cellulosic ethanol production.

SSS has a high net energy balance: Even though the ethanol yield per unit weight of feedstock is lower for SSS compared to sugarcane, the much lower production costs and water requirement for this crop more than compensate for the difference. SSS has therefore a competitive cost advantage in the production of ethanol. SSS is a 4 to 5 month crop and can be harvested all year round, thus supplying the biorefineries for 365 days per year. SSS can be grown in the dry or semi-arid tropics across the globe as a rainfed crop in areas with more than 700 mm rainfall.

In South Africa, a breeding program is developing SSS with high sugar content and ability to grow in marginal land with low input (energy, nutrient and water) requirements.

Knowledge Base

Since 2001, our team has specifically focussed on improving bagasse based furfural processes and/or trouble-shooting bagasse based furfural plants. Most recently, this work included the production of bio-renewable chemicals associated with ethanol/co-gen 'sugar' mills: We understand sugar mill projects and working across continents and with different cultures.

In addition, our team is supported by associates that are leaders in the field of:

Fermentation/Ethanol plant design,

Plant breeding (focus on Sweet Stem Sorghum) and

Farm management/development.

 

Typical Flow Diagram

sugarflowchart