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Valmet installs BioTrac pilot plant for hydrolysis of biomass

Valmet has installed a new biomass pilot plant in its research and development center in Sundsvall, Sweden. The equipment, called BioTrac, is a hydrolysis system which is used for process optimization and testing of raw materials based on...


September 24, 2014
By Pulp & Paper Canada

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Valmet has installed a new biomass pilot plant in its research and development center in Sundsvall, Sweden. The equipment, called BioTrac, is a hydrolysis system which is used for process optimization and testing of raw materials based on biomass. The plant is part of Valmet’s investment into developing new technologies for biorefinery applications, in order to deliver technology and process solutions to reduce CO2 emissions globally.

Valmet’s BioTrac is flexible both when it comes to different raw materials and process alternatives, and can be adapted to several downstream process steps. Hydrolysis is often the first step in a biorefinery, says the company. Further refining of the biomass could be production of bioethanol, bio-based chemicals and biomaterials, such as bio-based plastics.

“We are confident that our customers appreciate that they now can test their own ideas in our pilot plant, which in all essential parts correspond to the full scale equipment they are interested in,” says Rickard Andersson, vice-president, bio technology and environmental systems, Valmet.

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“In the new BioTrac system it is easy to handle a variety of biomasses and we can closely control and follow what is happening in the process. The system represents world class and is based on technology which was originally developed for the pulp and paper industry, where Valmet has extensive experience going over hundred years back,” says Olof Melander, manager, Valmet Fiber Technology Center in Sundsvall.

Hydrolysis is a chemical process that, under elevated temperature and pressure, makes cellulose and hemicellulose available to be split into different sugars and lignin in subsequent processes. The lignin is obtained as a solid residue. Both sugars and lignin can then be further refined.

Valmet’s Fiber Technology Center in Sundsvall houses several different pilot plants, e.g. for washing, screening and refining. The technology center also houses a laboratory for bleaching trials and various chemical, pulp and paper analyses.

Valmet Corporation is a global developer and supplier of services and technologies for the pulp, paper and energy industries.