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.