XyloSolv – Sequential extraction process for the production of high-value intermediates from beech wood

Using a hydrothermal process, xylan can be extracted from beech wood. At Fraunhofer CBP, this process is combined with the ethanolic organosolv fractionation process to additionally extract the lignin and fiber fractions, thus enabling the material use of all wood components. In this way, xylan and lignin can be obtained in a previously unavailable high-purity quality, making applications in the pharmaceutical industry or as food supplements possible.

© Fraunhofer CBP
Start and end of the process: beech wood chips and xylan.

High-value products from beech wood

The company HV‑Polysaccharides developed a hydrothermal extraction of xylan from beech wood chips at lab scale, which is now scaled up to the 500‑liter scale at the lignocellulose biorefinery pilot plant at Fraunhofer CBP within the XyloSolv project. The further aim of the project is the combination of this aqueous extraction with Organosolv pulping for total utilization of all wood components. The sequential processing allows the production of high purity xylan and lignin which makes them potential feedstock for pharmaceuticals or food supplements.

Process development and optimization already lead to a significant reduction of ethanol required for the xylan isolation from the aqueous extract compared to the lab procedure. Both hydrothermal extraction and downstream processing were improved and allow efficient production of larger quantities of xylan for application tests.

Further efforts are being made in optimizing the hydrothermal extraction and especially the process combination to improve resource and energy efficiency. Simultaneously, a production facility is being designed in cooperation with HV‑Polysaccharides and Glatt Ingenieurtechnik GmbH. Hence, after the successful end of the project, the first industrial biorefinery based on beech wood is to be realized.

Project information

Project title

XyloSolv – Sequential extraction process for the production of high-value intermediates from beech wood


Project duration

August 2019 – July 2021


Project partners

  • HV-Polysaccharides GmbH & Co.KG, Bucha
  • Glatt Ingenieurtechnik GmbH, Weimar


We would like to thank the German Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture (BMEL) and consumer protection and the Agency of Renewable Resources (FNR) for funding the project “XyloSolv“, promotional reference n° 22021218.

Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture.