SBIR Phase I: Novel process technology to convert paper-mill solidwaste into useful bioproducts

Period of Performance: 07/01/2015 - 01/31/2016

$150K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Avatar Sustainable Technologies
184 Remington Ave 6-6
Syracuse, NY 13210
Firm POC, Principal Investigator

Abstract

The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project is to use the waste fiber rejects from paper mills to make bioproducts and thus improve the sustainability of the paper industry. Paper mills currently landfill waste solids for anywhere between $20-60/ton*; This project proposes a process to convert paper mill waste it into fermentable sugars that can be converted to downstream commercial products, including biofuels and bioplastics. The proposed process not only provides greener, degradable and economical alternatives but also sustainable ones by using a resource that is currently being landfilled. The objective of this Phase I research project is to saccharify waste rejects from recycled containerboard mills. The presence of inhibitors requires the hydrolysis to be carried out in a process that negates their impact. Also the removal of these inhibitors from the hydrolyzate will increase the fermentability of sugars to economically produce various biochemicals including biofuels and bioplastics. Due to presence of several inhibitors finding a technically viable and economically feasible option is a major challenge. Expected results from this study will provide optimal process operational windows for yields, purity and downstream bioconversion efficacy, in terms of the independent variables including process time, temperature, solution chemistry, biomass concentration and enzyme application technology