Beechwood as a pharmaceutical product?

Research News /

Dr. Ireen Gebauer, scientist in the innovation field of regenerative resources at Fraunhofer CBP in Leuna, has achieved a remarkable project success for her research group Biomass Fractionation. Thanks to intensive preparatory work by Dr. Moritz Leschinsky, who leaves CBP at the end of the month, succeeded in approving the "XyloSolv" project, which receives EUR 1.3 million from BMEL and FNR.

Fractionation of renewable raw materials
© Fraunhofer IGB
Fractionation of renewable raw materials at Fraunhofer CBP.

The project "XyloSolv - Sequential Extraction Process for the Production of High-Quality Intermediates from Beechwood", coordinated by the Fraunhofer CBP, will start on 1 August 2019 and run until 2021. Project partners are the long-standing CBP -Partner HV-Polysaccharides GmbH & Co. KG from Bucha, as well as the Glatt engineering technology. Dr. Ireen Gebauer takes over the process development and accounting in her function as project manager.

The project objective is the development and scaling of a method for the sequential extraction of beech wood with water and an ethanol / water mixture, which allows the full use of all beech wood components as high purity fractions. If lignin was predominantly obtained in the known Organosolv process, the process coupling with the hydrothermal xylan extraction developed by HV-Polysaccharides is in the foreground of the XyloSolv project. Here, xylan is obtained in high-purity quality, so that it is suitable as a raw material for pharmaceutical active ingredients. Also, applications of cellulose and lignin in pharmacy or nutritional supplements are to be developed.

The project should prove that the previous laboratory results of HV-Polysaccharides can also be realized on an industrial scale. In addition, data is obtained which is used by Glatt Ingenieurtechnik for the overall technical concept of an economic production plant. The overall process is then optimized in terms of product yields, product purities, their economical use and the recycling of the excipients