Rationale for Biobased Chemicals ProductionThe production of chemicals from biomass, also known as bio-based chemicals, plays a critical role in creating a sustainable and environmentally friendly future, particularly as the world strives to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Some of the advantages of biobased chemicals are listed below:
Approaches for the Production of Biobased ChemicalsThere are two main ways in which biobased chemicals can be obtained from biomass feedstocks:
How Celignis Can HelpAt Celignis our multidisciplinary team has strong understanding of: biomass chemistry, bioprocessing technologies, and the mechanisms and challenges involved in producing a wide variety of biobased chemicals. We are ready to work with you on developing a suitable bioprocess to either obtain your targeted biobased chemical from biomass or to obtain the most appropriate biobased chemicals from a given feedstock.
Xylitol Chemistry and ApplicationsXylitol is a five-carbon sugar alcohol, chemically classified as a polyol. It is a white crystalline solid that is soluble in water, with a sweet taste similar to that of sucrose. It has the chemical formula C5H12O5.
History of Xylitol ProductionThe history of xylitol production goes back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Xylitol was first discovered and isolated by German and French chemists in the late 19th century, though it remained a relatively obscure compound for several decades due to the lack of efficient production methods.
Biomass Hydrolysis to XyloseXylitol is currently mostly produced from the pentose sugars (primarily xylose) present in the hemicellulose polysaccharides of lignocellulosic feedstocks.
Catalytic Production of Xylitol from XyloseThe chemical approach to xylitol production from xylose generally involves a process known as catalytic hydrogenation. The main steps and parameters of the process are described below:
Xylitol via Fermentation of XyloseAn alternative to the chemical approach for xylitol production is to use microorganisms, such as yeast or bacteria, that have the ability to convert xylose into xylitol. The process is essentially a specialized form of fermentation.
Chemical Vs Biological ApproachAdvantages of the chemical method over the biological method:
Xylitol from Hexose SugarsWhile xylitol is typically derived from the pentose sugar xylose, it is also possible to produce xylitol from hexose sugars like glucose, derived from the cellulose fraction of lignocellulosic biomass. This involves the use of certain microorganisms that can convert hexose sugars into xylitol. It is worth noting, however, that this process is less straightforward and efficient than the direct reduction of xylose to xylitol, and is still a subject of ongoing research.
Higher-Value Chemicals from XylitolXylitol can be also be upgraded to other higher value chemicals. Below are listed a few examples of chemicals that can be derived from xylitol:
1. Understanding Your Requirements
2. Detailed Feedstock Analysis
3. Hydrolysis to Xylose (Lab-Scale)
4. Xylitol Production
5. Xylitol Recovery
6. Valorisation of Remaining Biomass
7. Validation at Higher TRLs
8. Technoeconomic Analysis (TEA)