Biomass as raw material

Lignocellulosic biomass consists of three main fractions: cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin. Locally sourced straw and bamboo provide sustainable lignocellulosic feedstocks for Bio2X biorefineries.

bale-of-straw web

Cellulose brings strength to the plants, whereas hemicellulose creates flexibility for the plant to bend without breaking. Lignin works like a glue that provides structural support.

Each fraction has a significant potential to replace fossil-based or otherwise unsustainable materials and products. Currently, only cellulose is widely utilized for higher value applications, while hemicellulose and lignin are typically burned for energy.

Fortum Bio2X applies an organosolv fractionation technology that can extract not only cellulose but also hemicellulose and lignin for high-value products.

Straw – a residue with enormous potential

Agricultural straw – such as wheat, rye or rice straw – is abundantly available around the globe. After harvesting, straw is typically discarded or even burned. With biorefining, straw can instead be converted into high-value materials and chemicals with low environmental impact. The use of straw does not compete with food production, require additional land use or cause strain on biodiversity. It can also have a significant positive impact on air quality in areas where straw is currently mostly burned. Depending on the application, straw-based materials can be recyclable at their end of life.

Today, consumers are increasingly aware of sustainability issues and industries are under pressure to improve their sustainability performance. There is a strong pull in the market for straw-based applications, which are still extremely rare. Bio2X’s biorefinery project Triticum, converting locally sourced straw into cellulose, lignin and biochemicals, will open the doors for straw-based applications.

Bamboo is ideally suited for bioethanol production

Bamboo is an ideal feedstock for advanced bioethanol production due to its natural abundance in certain geographical locations, very rapid and perennial growth and low management requirements. Compared to other feedstocks, bamboo has a high cellulose and low lignin content, as well as low ash and moisture content, that enable a good conversion into ethanol.

Bamboo is extensively available in Northeastern India, the location of our first biorefinery.