Innovation by Design

How forward-thinking cellulosic development is key to achieving commercial-scale
By Bryan Sims | May 20, 2011

The goal for any cellulosic ethanol developer is to perform the necessary due diligence at pilot and demonstration scale before making the leap to commercialization. That’s exactly what Canadian cellulosic ethanol developer Lignol Energy Corp. did when, with its Vancouver-based engineering contractor Poyry Inc., it completed an engineering design package for a commercial-scale biorefinery that could potentially produce up to 80 MMly (21 MMgy) of cellulosic ethanol and 55,000 metric tons of lignin, trademarked HP-L, derivatives annually.

In its design calculations, Lignol took into account the recent price of crude oil, incentives for the construction of biorefineries and the production of advanced biofuels along with pricing indications received from key suppliers and customers. Additionally, the company intends to perform ongoing studies at its 100,000 liter per year pilot-scale cellulosic ethanol facility on the campus of the British Columbia Institute of Technology in Burnaby, British Columbia, to refine the design basis and equipment selection needed to scale up its proposed commercial plant.

 “Completing this milestone is a significant step forward in our plan to develop a financially viable, commercial-scale biorefinery and market our technology worldwide,” says Ross MacLachlan, president and CEO of Lignol.  —Bryan Sims