Lignol receives $2 million for cellulosic plant

By Kris Bevill
Web exclusive posted July 25, 2008 at 9:40 a.m. CST

Lignol Energy Corp., a Vancouver-based biorefinery technology developer, has announced its subsidiary Lignol Innovations Ltd. has received $1.96 million as part of British Columbia's Innovative Clean Energy (ICE) Fund.

Lignol plans to use the grant to support the ongoing development and commercialization of its process technology that converts nonfood biomass into ethanol and other biochemical byproducts.

Lignol had acquired a solvent-based pretreatment technology from General Electric along with related engineering data and a pilot plant. According to Lignol, the technology is being tested for use with wood chips. Chief Executive Officer Ross MacLachlan said the GE pilot plant is still being used, but is now a small piece of the larger plant, which is being constructed on the British Columbia Institute of Technology campus. When the project is completed in September, the pilot plant will have a capacity of 26,000 gallons per year. For selective runs, Lignol is acquiring various types of woody biomass from area suppliers. "To do those types of volumes, it's pretty simple for us," MacLachlan said. "It's not a big issue for us to get that kind of volume."

According to Lignol, successful commercialization of its technologies could provide British Columbia with the ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, utilize local mountain pine beetle fiber and other softwood residues, as well as contribute to the development of local technologies that have strong export potential.

The company is also working on its first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol production facility, which will be located in Colorado and is projected to be completed between 2010 and 2011.

ICE is a $25 million fund designed by the government of British Columbia to accelerate the development and implementation of clean, renewable energies.